Dad was yellow, behind his greying beard.
” It’s his liver,” the doctor said, “It’s failing.”
He took it well, the news, because he’d feared
For a while: Dad could feel his body ailing.
It was the drugs that did it, we all reckoned.
The pink and white pills that were fixing him:
Saved from one death and served up to a second.
Now sweat clings to his face, deathly and grim,
As he drifts wordlessly about, almost
Lost, contemplating his end. I can’t seem
To talk to him, this slouching, pale half-ghost;
He doesn’t look like Dad, just some sad dream –
Ghostless machine, a form without a face –
Or something hollow left there in his place.
“It’s good,” he barely rasped, “When a man knows
His time is up, and makes sense of what’s there,
So he can set things right before he goes.”
But that still doesn’t make it fair.