The nurses got in the habit of calling

the cute little old man in Room 323,

“Simon says”


“Simon says, I’m dying of thirst”

“Simon says, I didn’t make it to the toilet”

“Simon says, my head’s about to explode”

 Ha! Ha! Ha!


One early evening he buzzed the nurse’s station

and groaned into the intercom


“Go see what he has to say,” they laughed

“Ha! Ha! Ha!”


Just inside his room I called out, “Simon?”

“Simon! What’s up?” I asked loudly

“Simon!” I shouted again

“Do you need something?”


There was just enough light outside

to say it was not yet dark

His mouth sagged on the side

of his face I could see

I found the eye on the other side of his face

stuck open wider than usual

riveted on the window

and the trees outside waving


I reached for the call button

to tell the crowd

at the nurses station

that Simon had nothing left to say


Stood silent a moment

Left the conversation open so Simon

could have the last laugh