Which is the crueler of tricks
mortality has in store:
Preparation and foreknowledge
or blinding ignorance that shakes
confidence to the core?

Through teary eyes, a woman
cleans the hose feeding her father's
breath. He won't be much longer,
yet she helps him cling to life,
putting on hold her own.

On New Year's Eve, a doctor
celebrates the fleeting year
at a party, unaware that later
she will bring in the annum
pronouncing the death of her son.

Another family gathers about a son
to celebrate his birth.
The next day they prepare
his grandmother's remains
for her return to earth.