He was lying on the bed head back staring
at the blank white square of the ceiling.
Hello, I said. It's Jim.
His mouth moved. A sound of boiling water came out.
I took a seat in the chair & leaned over toward him.
He blinked twice then again & several times.
Finally: Are you comfortable, dad?
"About as comfortable as I can be."
He had on green socks clean new pajamas.
More time. Silence. It's chilly in here, I said.
"It's always been cold in this room.
I've tried to tell your mother that for years."
His head never moved the voice
crisp with impatience.
Is there anything I can do for you, Dad?
He reached adjusting the oxygen tube
clipped to the tip of his nostrils.
A breath. 2. Then the endless fluid
to be swallowed. "Yeah
put a hundred thousand in my bank account."
He chuckled. In the mirror above the dresser
I watched him fighting
to fold his hands again as I left.
- Jim Cory