Frank sits in the big chair by the window
and shrinks a little every day
as cancer eats him from the inside.
He is a living shell of stubborn will.
He stands and sways like a drunk in denial.
Staggers up and down. Falls on his way to the car.
Has no control. Wets the bed. The catheter they fit
leaks. He's stoic. No, it doesn't hurt.
And finally in hospital refuses to die
the first time his heart complains.
His dead cold hands warm up again
for one more day of Spring.
Full of morphine, he smiles, eats ice-cream,
he says, feels fit, As good as new.
By four next morning his eyes stare
astonished as death embraces him
in a cold convulsive hug,
leaves him peaceful, empty, and more
handsome than he was in life.