From Charlotte

Though doctors were concerned,
he insisted.
He was ready to leave
so they discharged him
against recommendation
and we got into a rented car
to head back home
which happened to be
hundreds of miles North.

I took the wheel
since everyone else
was exhausted from the hospital stay.
I don’t enjoy driving
but anything for family, right?
I drove until blurry
and then we leased beds
in a doorless suite.

Through the evening
I hoped his snoring would cease
so I could sleep in peace
but also prayed it wouldn’t
so he would not Rest In Peace.
I slept poorly that night
but we all survived.
The next day, yawning,
I shared the pilot’s chair.

It was hard running
racing through states
unsure if he would make it home
or die on the road.
He had sounded suicidal
weeks before
so we didn’t know if our hospitable departure
was simply some sort of cry for death.

But it wasn’t to be.
He made it through the trip.
We all did
and enjoyed years more in New York
but never again in Charlotte.

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