One Breath Away


Her pale skin and vacant eyes dwarf her tiny frame.
Slightly bent, she shuffles down the hall with her walker
To the lunchroom full of silent strangers into their own thoughts,
Unable to escape somewhat healthy bodies and empty minds.

We walked in the room and her face lit up adding pink to her cheeks.
Sitting down on either side of her in uncomfortable chairs,
She looks at me and says, "You're me!" with an excited half-smile.

She sometimes asks where her husband is, and we say, "Not far."
He's actually one breath away.
And the day did arrive when she missed taking one more breath.

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