You died the day the first unripe squash sprouts
curled from the garden. You’d grown weak,
couldn’t make a fist to hold the lilies. They dropped
to the floor, a bouquet of dream-teeth
loosened from the gums. The morphine drip
helped you forget your prince who had passed
a few years before. The green
hospital gown was a misnomer—how inelegant.
How unready you were for your final social occasion,
your tiny cracked feet in those floppy rubber slippers.
Denise Duhamel’s most recent book of poetry is Scald (Pittsburgh, 2017). Blowout (Pittsburgh, 2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, she is a professor at Florida International University in Miami.