Cold rice pudding spooned from a tub
into your old lady’s baby mouth.
Full of nutrition, safe to give.
Nothing that’s chewy or crunchy’s allowed.

Ambrosia’s very nice
and can give you the strength to help you fight
the thrush that’s grown on your tongue and throat –
a side effect of the drugs they fed
to zap the infection deep in your chest.

This is all I can do for you.
Facing death with half-price desserts,
a Kleenex bib to catch all the drips.
This is what you did for me.
Hazy time-filled years, a breath.
It all comes back to where it begins.

Nine soft swallows, then you are done.
Did that feel good? You nod, smile,
strap the noisy mask to your face,
return your head to its pillow dent.
You tell us you’re ready to rest for a while.