He is 95, still strong, and wearing
diapers. He reckons it a good day
when he stands before a toilet
with the seat up
anything but dribbles.
She is 93. Her brain has corroded,
erasing all but little details
of her childhood in North Dakota,
and the Norwegian national anthem.
She wakes up shivering in soaked
ammonia-scented sheets and wonders
how they got that way.
The two sit on their sun-porch, nodding off.
Their gray-muzzled cocker spaniel looks
from one face to the other, whines, then
squats and pees between their chairs.
An hour from now the man will decree, again,
that tomorrow the dog will be put down.
The man cannot piss a stream,
nor euthanize his wife.
At least he can
Cynthia Trenshaw is a poet and explorer at the edges of our culture. She lives on Whidbey Island WA where she posts monthly blogs at CynthiaTrenshaw.com. Her latest book is Meeting in the Margins: An Invitation to Encounter Society’s Invisible People (She Writes Press, Berkeley).