The Medicine

You stalk about the house,  I can hear your labored breathing.  I call to you, ask if you need anything, but you cannot hear me.  Your hearing went long ago, before you were sick.

You look like a different person, your hair thin, clean shaven.  You resemble your brothers more than ever; the same gaunt neck and angled teeth.  You look more like an old man now than I can remember; these past months have added years to your face with a speed that is mortifying.

I can’t help but think that your thin, cow-licked hair is like that of a small child, a baby duck.

They deign to discuss what is happening in front of us.  Even so, their euphemisms and hushed conversations don’t hide your frailty.  They talk about the poison being pumped into your veins as if it is an elixir.  As if is is not wracking the body which has turned against you.

The medicine, they say.  The medicine.