Somehow I thought he’d want to do
different things from what they used to do
together here. But no, a show,
a big Broadway musical show,
is his choice for tonight. Yes,
there are tickets. I was half-hoping not.
And wishing in vain that it was May, not December,
and we were buying for three.
That last spring night we had clear hope
we watched Guys and Dolls in her hospital room.
Though we’d missed the beginning, and her favorite song,
we watched till the end.
She nodded off,
as she always did at home before the tube,
head on his shoulder,
but nodded back in,
to say, surprised, in her everyday voice,
“It’s good,” letting us believe
she was on the mend.
After that, she had just three days more,
and only one in which
she could say a word.
Fifty years, Dad would say,
with wonder in his voice,
that after a whole half-century
he couldn’t have kept her with him
for the whole show.…