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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 1, March 2018

Frank J. Tassone
Montebello, New York, USA

Breathless Vanity

Mom never left the house without looking immaculate. She would put on makeup, style her hair, and wear the best outfit just to pick up a carton of cigarettes. Even when I took her to Nyack Hospital’s emergency room, she made herself up right before we left.

After a week in acute care, she was discharged, but within days was rushed back into emergency. Now she lies on a hospital gurney. Her hair sticks out in every direction. She wears no make-up or classy clothes—only a hospital gown.

This morning, her eyes are too dry for tears. Her mouth quivers from exhaustion. Her bruised left arm is crumpled tissue paper after two weeks of IV insertions. Her attending physician tells me that she has double pneumonia.

Finally, the time came when she was supposed to come home. Now I wonder, will she ever?

rain-pelted window
her new roommate’s
untended moans

Note: "Breathless Vanity" is a revision of "Another Emergency Room Check-in" which first appeared in Image Curve on January 12, 2017.



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