she was the one we all said would fall from
the big c, cancer, because every time
we saw her she had a cigarette between
her lips or clutched loosely in scarred fingers.
sometimes we feared she might fall asleep with
a lit fag and wake up with a fireman—
that was our off-color joke, anyway.
what none of us foresaw, though, was her prince
charming, who had everyone charmed from the
waitress at yella’s on up the social set,
no one foresaw him being the death of her,
because it all took place behind closed doors,
and nearly all the bruises inflicted
were invisible even in the casket.
David M Pitchford
16 Nov 2011