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April 2013, vol 9, no 1

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Donna Buck


In his room at the assisted living facility, Mac lies quietly dying. He is wearing his favorite soft, salmon-colored shirt. His wedding and 50th wedding anniversary photos face him on the opposite wall. Mac’s breaths are longer since the morphine drops. His granddaughter turns to the hospice nurse. “Gramps hates those shows. They’re so loud”, she says. She turns off the TV and inserts his favorite Hank Williams cassette in the player. She strokes his hand, and though his eyes are closed, she sings along to ‘Hey, Good Lookin’. “That was our favorite, huh, Gramps?” Mac’s breathing evens out.

night clouds
filtering moonlight
over water