I didn’t visit you often enough,
convinced the devil hadn’t decided
who to take—a sister or a child.
Spending most of my time in the waiting room
skimming through questions
about my pregnancy, I allowed others
to thumb through a story of life.
But no winged creatures—translucent
or coal black—passed your curtain,
just a shadow on the neurologist’s face.
No din or crash cart either,
just the cold coil of finished paperwork.
Pretending not to see your lips
framing help me, I listened to the nurses
claim the morphine made you delirious,
the aneurysm jumbled your words.
Why tempt death with a more helpless victim,
furry and fingerprinted, the length of a finger?
I guiltily covered my small belly
each time I saw you masked in suffering.
And I was never more tired.