Breath

I saw him there on his hospital bed almost dead.
Squirming in pain and unable to speak, his
breathe whistled through his teeth that bit

through his lip and gave a view of something
I’d never do to take my mind off of the terrible pain.
I watched as his chest rose and fell like a bellows

fanning his pain. Did he want to stay alive and
suffer, or would he rather take some drops to
make him stop breathing, close his eyes, and die?

It was up to me to decide, because all he could do
was plead his need with his glazed over eyes that
probably saw the woman he loved standing there.

If it were me, I’d choose to escape the pain and ask
please, please, find the keys to stop my breath from
keeping me alive.

Shall I like a God make the choice for him based on
what I’d do if I were he? Should I shut his door to life?
I didn’t know and thinking I was wise, I looked into his eyes

where I saw fear of the unknown. and he didn’t want to be alone. “It’s okay,”
I said “you have to see what’s on the other side one day. Maybe today
is the time to leave your pain behind and go?”

His body rocked and rolled and I saw he had grown old. He tried
to no avail to chase the pain away. “I love you” I said and my
heart ached when I picked up a pillow and covered his face

to stop the bellows from intensifying the pain that wracked
through him from head to toe. It was time for him to go.
He struggled to get free from the pillow I held and it was then

I knew he wanted to live despite the pain, but I thought it
was fear of what’s on the other side. I said, “You’ll have to
go there someday, so why not today?” I pressed down hard
and guessed when his chest stopped moving he was out of breath.