The nurses got in the habit of calling

the cute little old man in 323,

“Simon says”


“Simon says, I need some water

“Simon says, I need to sit on the toilet

“Simon says, my head hurts”

“Ha!  Ha!  Ha!”


One evening he buzzed the nurse’s station

and groaned into the intercom

I was sent to see what he wanted

“Simon,” I said

“Simon?” I asked

“Simon, do you need something?”


His mouth sagged on the side

of his face I could see


There was just enough light outside

to say it wasn’t yet dark


The eye on the other side of his face

was stuck open wider than usual,

riveted on the window

and the tree waving outside


I reached for the call button

to tell the crowd

still joking at the nurse’s station

that Simon had nothing left to say


Stood silent a moment out of respect

to give the old guy the last word


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