Death Has No Voice
Your mother's voice, cold as a telegram:
"She died last night. Your name was in her book."
I couldn't speak, remembering your breath
Warming my neck, and my confused hand shook
The phone as you became a memory.
I heard a sob, a silence, then a man
Who said hello, thanked me for knowing you,
Said your weak lungs defied the treatment plan,
And that the doctors warned them years ago
Your breath was limited. They'd call me back,
Of course, about the service. A dial tone,
And I lay still as a suit in plastic, black,
Dropped on a light bedspread. Not you, Diane,
Death's enemy who smiled at the unknown;
How could your breath just stop? No answer came.
Death has no voice. Cold, I hung up the phone.