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). She and Julie Marie Wade co-authored TheUnrhymables: Collaborations in Prose (Noctuary Press, 2019). She is a Distinguished University Professor in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami.