George Perreault

Because we live in a land so

Barbarous, we cannot always choose when to die

And must trust another, perhaps equally infirm

In body or will, the syringe snapping off,

The pistol jammed, the millstones of the law,

I tell my wife: just pump up the morphine, to which:

No time soon, someone has to be the kind parent –

And is this my role today?  Not disengaged,

Doting or in my dotage, doling benign neglect or

Whatever the child will look back upon, commenting wryly

As most of us do, beholding a pastel past where

The freedoms beckoned, sunny shores, birds

wheeling heedlessly, trees and carefree clouds,

the good shepherd in the thick green grass:

a morning song for her dad.