When my Great Grandmother was near death in the hospital

I was curious to see what an old person's butt looks like,

so I kept standing on my tippie toes to catch a see

until mother pulled the blankets up around to defend the old woman's dignity

from my prying eyes

fascinated by the sagging, colorless skin 

the pallor of age and pain 

Each thin blue vein webbing across her limbs

I could not understand 


My Great Grandmother ended up living a few more years after that,

but I'm not sure if anyone was with her when she died--besides hospice staff, 

poor woman,

and because of the building dread in my heart

I hope desperately that someone was there

that she saw a familiar face

at the very least

that old people don't feel pain or fear when death happens

that they feel acceptance like in Hollywood

oh god I hope


I don't want to understand this feeling ever


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