The Pastor’s Visit by Doc Arnett

Tethered to the long green linedoc

that runs from the tank,

she spends her time

turned toward the windows

of what she used to call

her living room.


She’s in remarkably good health for a dying woman:

nothing really hurts,

everything else works

with both mind and body.


But a few steps across the floor

leaves her gasping for air,

even with the supplemental oxygen.

Since she cannot sustain enough breath

for conversation,

she hesitates to call anyone

and the visitors become more few

and the visits farther between.


I sit in the chair

where her husband died slowly

nearly ten years ago

and now it seems only half that time to me

and at least twice that long to her.


Sometimes the silence filters around us,

and we sit together,

waiting for the ending that will not come

soon enough.


We talk about loss and flowers,

blooms and seeds,

and how a ripe peach from the tree

is the only one worth eating.

~ Doc Arnett

Doc Arnett is the director of Institutional Research at the oldest college in Kansas. A native of West Kentucky, he and his wife, Randa, live in Doniphan County and share twenty grandkids. Doc enjoys singing, playing guitar, writing, remodeling, pastoring a small church and competing in mud runs.



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