My father is asleep, his mouth hanging open
We are waiting for him to die.
The Jamaican aides are our new best friends.
We feed them lentil soup, they tell us recipes for callaloo
One shows me pictures of Jamaican fruit
And the red soil of her homeland.
My brother cooks up beautiful branzino
And we eat it with Rose
While we give my father mashed up chowder.
Are you writing about me, he wants to know.
Yes. I have been writing about you my entire life.
I show him pictures of the branzino we just ate.
I rest my glass of unfinished Rose on his bedside cart.
He is ready to die, he has told us many times.
His affairs are in order. His bags are packed.
Everything has a beginning and an end.
How many ways can you say you are ready to die?
He’s ready, we’re ready.
What else does it take?
Today he sang some songs. He told some jokes.
Is it possible he’ll go out singing and joking?
Whenever he nods off, I wonder
Is this it?
How will we know?
Dube, an arts writer and editor, is a frequent contributor to U.S. 1’s Preview section.