Waiting on Death in Jackson, Mississippi
By Max Sutton
Little seems happening. The drip
ticks. Oxygen in a steady wheeze
sifts from the machine. Her chest lifts,
falls, lifts, falls, an old oak rocker
on a worn pine floor. "I'm happy,"
she said, and then stopped talking.
Does she feel pain, a daughter
asks her father in a dream.
"Not much, honey," he says,
having died some time before.
"This is how it has to be."
His gray sedan idles in midsummer
dusk, a shadow in the seat beside him.
Upstairs in the plantation house
her light stays on. He taxis off,
sixty-seven years her husband,
chauffeur for more, circling
the mansion, ready
when she is ready.
- Max Sutton lives in Eudora.