A Common Phrase

She should just wake up,
and realize it is over with him,
I mean it is over, it is done,
I mean, pull the plug, it is done.

My good friend was telling me a story,
about her coworker’s relationship problems,
then asked, What is wrong, you look funny, did I say something?

I looked at her, and replied,
I just do not think of that phrase,
“pull the plug”
the same any more.

She replied softly,
I did not think of it like that. I am sorry.
It is just something I have always said.

I looked at my friend, and quietly thought:

about my father’s gray complexion;
as his body lay attached to tubes and wires and lights,
turning cold as winter.

about the doctor’s somber face;
as she told us that my dad’s life,
would never be the same.

about my mother’s inquiring lips;
as she asked what my sister and I thought,
and if we both agreed.

about my sister’s heartbroken tears;
as she disembarked from the hospital room,
unable to watch such a scene.

I looked at my friend, and quietly said:

I know, it is a common phrase.
I just do not say it any more;

nor will I think of it the same,
ever again.


By Jennifer A. Fifield

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