He comes home to find Grandma, still –
sitting amidst the papers and magazines,
the dirtied grey furniture,
the crumbling walls and curtains stained
the slow reek of tobacco smoke.
Her sunken eyes do not see him.
Her stunned brain wonders
at nothing. She stares at the television.
Something is passing –
her skin is parched and worn,
dry and thin as paper.
Already, her walk is skeletal.
She skulks about the house,
hunched and broken –
her speech is a raspy whisper.
The children cannot look at her
and shiver at her touch –
They too can feel it.
The doctor promises it will come soon.
They await on the sound, the knell
that comes, and never comes –
the knell that must come now.
Sometimes, he sees her sitting there, still –
A box of matches
rattles between her fingers -
she sucks on the end of a cigarette,
strikes a match to flame.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.