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January 2017, vol 12 no 4

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J. Zimmerman

Tilly: Day Zero and Then Day One

on the morning of the day she dies she tells us she wants to donate her body so I enlist her carer to help inform the Hospice contact who explains how and whom we tell at Stanford Hospital and they email the crucial form which we print for her Power of Attorney friend to complete and fax to where it needs to be on the last afternoon that radiant smile that final glimpse and then the letting go

by the driveway
the glow of the first
windfall apple

we were up long past midnight but can't sleep in the early dawn so we resume what became necessary a few hours ago to release the hospital bed and oxygen tank, pay bills, deposit checks found amid paper pyramids of old mail, salvage a thousand pages of incomplete writings, and one-by-one let each of her friends know that this is the first day

almost her voice
in through the screen door
an orange-scented breeze