Weekend Call Sheets

Kathleen Fagley


Hospice on pink sheets,

urology calls on yellow

purple for Red Cross

Good Morning!  …. a dam is breaking

there is blood in his urine,

a hospice patient is actively dying.

Conversely, can someone be actively living?

Certainly not me, tethered to this board

for seven hours

pressed into my seat by the weight

of emergencies.


Patient…no correct that,

Lifeline™ subscriber has fallen

the hospice client is agitated and needs medication.

From the pink home health care sheet

I read the history of a woman’s dying,

from midnight to five a.m.—

dysphasia at midnight

then gurgling noises at two,

rattling noises in her chest at three.

By five, she has stopped breathing.


A daughter calls with a message

for the hospice nurse.

Her father has passed—

fifteen minutes ago.

I give her silence, a tiny space

of time so she can continue.

I want to tell her my father

is dying but I can’t.

She is holding back tears

but crying would be better than words.

I am so tired of words.



Kathleen Fagley is a graduate of New England College’s MFA program in poetry.  Her chapbook, How You Came to Me, was published in July 2012 by Finishing Line Press as a finalist in the New Women’s Voices Series. She has had poetry published in The Stillwater Review, Memoir Journal, Cutthroat, The Comstock Review and others.  She lives in Keene, New Hampshire with her husband Paul and teaches babies and toddlers in the Child Development Center at Keene State College.

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