by Laura Foley

I’ve given up delivering
Meals on Wheels, sitting vigil
for patients in hospice,
offering a chaplain’s
bedside attention
to strangers. I focus now
on my wife: pale face,
bald head, a scrub
of hedgehog hair coming in,
so exhausted
by cancer-killing drugs,
she often naps whole afternoons,
on the living room couch.
When she notices me
pacing like a caged cat
on behalf of us, our families,
the world in the midst
of pandemic–
then she comes to my side,
patting my arm, cooing,
in comforting tones,
as a mother might,
there, there.


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