Written by: Jack Jordan

	Billie died today. 
	Respiratory failure, 
	quiet and painless.
	She just went away.
	I sat beside her bed, 
	watching her breath, 	
	the blue pulse in her neck. 
	She lay on her right side, 
	pale, fetal-curled, 
	facing the wall,
	worn out, used up.
	Hospice told me 
	that the only thing 
	keeping her alive 
	was the oxygen being given 
	though the clear plastic mask 
	covering her nose and mouth. 
	There were drops of condensation 
	inside the mask, 
	making most of her small face indistinct. 
	The parts I could see clearly – 
	cheek and chin, 
	one ear,
	were perfectly calm. 
	I was told that I could
	remove the mask. 
	I did. 
	She took a single breath, 
	later, another; 
	she was gone.
	She would have done the same for me.

         © Jack Jordan 2013