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Last Impression

by Madison Adams

The doctor asked me and the small cluster of others who’d been notified of her situation there,
if we would, to please stand outside in the hospital hallway to detour the clicking of so many heels passing by her room for the next, at most, five minutes or so.
With nothing more than the glancing-at and the glimpsing-back of unfamiliar faces happening among us
standing in the hallway, it seemed far too long a
recollection-ricocheting slow dragging time before the doctor reappeared; the door opening with him leaning this way and that, looking us over and inquisitively
whispering out my name.
All her three sons and two daughters, along with her old husband, my uncle, came out of the room as I went in. At this one great moment, I hoped she knew that I grew up believing she was the devil her- himself … and now, today, was my opportunity to use my very own hand
as an escort signal to wave her away to her original home bittersweet home for good.
Her face looked depleted, drooping down drowsy on the double pillows as I came nearer; and as I stood at the head of her bed, her eyes, a slowly-blackening avocado green, widened just enough to show she’s still here,
though approaching slowly gone-away places.
“She wants you to pull the plug,” the doctor said, closing the door and edging up in a brief sideways line to stand across the bed from me,
“if it’s something you want to do.”

I may never visit her granite grave. But still,
without actually being there looking down, where ever it is and where ever I may be, I think of how ants and worms might go out of their way to avoid something
as tough as she.

Madison Adams was born in Headland, Alabama, and now lives in Dothan. He has been published in The Colorado Quarterly, Scree, Rhino, Grub Street, Peccary, Maelstrom Review and The Powhatan Review.

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  • Gwen / April 16, 2013

    How sweet of you to share this poem with me. I know what it means but would love for you to explain it to me over a glass of your homemade wine . . . . Gwen 🙂