Lost in fever

he struggled blankets off

tore at tubes

in his nose and arm,

mumbled something in German

over black nubs of teeth.

“Grandpa,” I said. “Lie still.”

But he wrestled me back,

and the nurses came,

five of us pushing a man

down on his deathbed,

because we knew what was best.

The raspy sound of his voice

still hurts.

Out of breath,

his hair wet against the pillowcase,

the Bull of Steinberg pleaded to me

from deep in his gut,

“Grandson! Make them go away!”


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