For Gramma on her birthday

In the end
she faced death
a warrior
hair braided
jeans pressed
determined to look ready
for anybody
in the end
she woke each morning
when she could count
her days
on two hands
then one
with only fingers
she still took her coffee
the way she liked
with lots of cream
spent her day
talking with friends
as she sat in the kitchen
in the end
when she expected death’s call
she did not hide
she turned to faced the end
with a smile on her face
a cigarette in her hand
and laughter
always eager
to escape her mouth
and where others might tremble
she laughed
where others might cry
she sang
where others would choose
to remain in bed
she woke each morning
a smile on her face
a song on her lips
with love in her heart
in the end
when death came
she did not cower
she greeted it
on her terms
upright in her home
no longer an adversary
but the homecoming
of an old friend
in the end
she would pass
on her own terms
a smile on her face
laughter in her throat
surrounded by love
the same way she lived

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