That Smell

For years I feared the smell,
that after too many days silence
I’d have to call
the police
or the fire folk
or emergency services
and have them break down the door
to see what had happened
to my neighbor.

I was worried about the awkwardness
of having to take care
of this non-relative
living just above me
until she wasted away
with no one to notice
but me.
I didn’t lose sleep over any of it
but a dis-ease crept over me
over the years,
a fear that travelled as far
a I did.

So it was quite a relief
that her last few weeks
were spent in a hospital
on Gun Hill Road
where professionals could care for her
and know what to do
when she finally stopped.
Hopefully,
there was no smell.

Hopefully,
no one will need to smell me.

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