By Clyde Kessler

I watched my dying sister
breathe towards a flower vase.
Lupine kept the sky in its petals.
And a pink rose kept lamp light
teasing her eyes.

There was a new IV needle
on a tray. And some cotton swabs
stacked like somebody worked
a miniature cabin of bones
towards a purple tubing valve.

I saw that her eyes were more
a jaundice-color, a played sun-color
on the slatted blinds. I lost our small talk
then I guessed she would sleep
against more medicine than I knew.

Clyde lives in Radford, VA with his wife Kendall and their son Alan. He is a founding member of Blue Ridge Discovery Center, an environmental education organization in southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina. For more info about BRDC: