The Wisdom of Others
Concerning Euthanasia

"Whatever choice Elizabeth Bouvia may ultimately make, I can only hope that her courage, persistence and example will cause our society to deal realistically with the plight of those unfortunate individuals to whom death beckons as a welcome respite from suffering."

~~ Judge Lynn Compton, California Court of Appeals

"We in Holland know the word means, a mild death, a dignified death. And therefore we use it."

~~ Dr. Pieter V. Admiral (1986)


I stared out the kitchen window,
thought, Still breathing or not?
It was hard to tell; we were connected
through the hearts.

I carried my cup of tea with me,
made my way quietly to where he lay,
and I watched for signs of life.
Hed been clawed open
from abdomen to throat -
my favorite squirrel.

The day before hed taken nuts from my hand,
condoned the convivial scratch behind the ear
though hed never admit he liked it.

I placed him in a cardboard box;
drove all the way to the vet only to learn
wild rodents cannot be rescued.
Wept without shame when they said
it was for the best.

Every morning now I check you
from abdomen to throat
and I watch for signs of life.

Your mutilation is on the inside.
I have no cardboard box large enough
to hold you, no one to tell me
its for the best when I get there.
My mistake was naming you both
and letting you eat from the palms of my hands.

2000 MJM

Featured on the Alpha Poet's Page at The Poet's Porch, [2/01 to 5/01]
Featured in the Spring 2001 edition of interweave (zine), [I:2]


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