A Dying Friend: Trying to Find the Words
By Don Iannone
Our friend Joanne is dying.
It's February 14th, and
she has been dying for a long time.
Please understand that
it is not my job to pronounce, or
predict another's passing.
What do I really know about dying?
My knowledge is strictly theoretical.
You might say...
it's vicariously second-hand.
Cancer takes many of us.
It is ghastly insidious.
Infiltrating us cell by cell, and
like Amazonian piranha,
eventually all is eaten away, leaving nothing.
Cancer is just one of death's ugly paths.
There are many others.
I don't have to name them all.
Like the bodies I saw on stretchers
by the side of the freeway
just a week ago.
On the matter of death,
I am utterly word-bound.
You watch it.
It watches you.
You turn away.
For now, the shroud is not yours.
You go on living.