WAKE

By Kelly Cheung

I received a phone call.
A car accident, she said.
But he’s fine, he said.

A few days pass.
I received a phone call.
He’s in the hospital, she said.
A brain bleed, they said.

I’m thousands of miles away.
I call him.
He’s smiling, eyes droopy.
When are you coming home?
It’s almost my birthday, he said.

I received a phone call.
He needs surgery, she said.
Or he will die, they said.
That night, I book a flight.
I’m almost home.
To the hospital, I go.

It’s been weeks, here.
I’m waiting for him to wake.
I wait and I wait.
He’s not awake.
Why won’t he wake?
Please wake.
I can’t wait.

A tracheostomy? I ask.
To give him more time, they said.
I don’t want that, she said.
He wouldn’t want that.
Would he? I wonder.
It’s decided, she said.
Tomorrow’s the day, they said.
What if tomorrow, he wakes?

Today’s the day, I say.
Do you want to watch? They ask.
I’m staying, I say.
We wait and we wait.
For his last breath.

For his last heart beat.
His color is the last to go.
I’ve never watched someone go.
Oh grandpa, why didn’t you wake?

Leave a Reply