The one who is dying lies in the hospital bed upstairs, unable to speak. The oxygen mask; the breathing tube.

The other one sits at the table at the end of the cafeteria by the window that looks out on the parking lot and the trees of the ravine and writes.

Canada geese walk carefully on the wet gravel, drink at the grey puddle, or stay under the pine trees out of the rain.

Upstairs the family drama unfolds. They don't expect her to live the week. It was all very sudden, this illness, this immanent death.

Those who know she is downstairs pretend she isn't. They think the old and beloved woman would have forgotten. They want to protect everyone. They are lonely, sad.

But she hasn't forgotten. Nearly breathless, the morphine dulling her consciousness.

The rain drums in the puddles.

The sprinkler is ridiculously on, a constant gush of water as high as the trees.

Sprays of water accompany the cars on the bridge passing by.

She waits.

Perhaps what needs to happen will be understood. Perhaps there will be courage through fear.

Before the end there was a chance, but no-one listened.

She waited at the window at the back, but was not called. Absolution never happened.

The Canada geese rise and fly in formation over the weeping willow trees.

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