For his end time,
we gathered by the bedside.
Like the fresh faces on Auntie Em’s farm
after Dorothy’s dream.
In his life, he must have dreamt us
into something that held him happy
until this day.
His plugs and wires and tubes
seemed connected to an underground cloud,
and what it fed to him was bitter.
Today was his day for the handing out of tickets,
like Tom Hanks with his paper punch.
But, inspirational? Not so much.
Each one showed our other face
just as we were looking at his,
and we wanted to plug our ears
as he spewed secrets
that we dismissed as drug-induced,
but knew to be true.
And what do you do with the Never Dids,
the filthy kids and the hiding hids?
The thrown cans of salmon
and the smashing plates.
Oh God, we were sorry,
and a group hug just wasn’t in the cards.