My dad calls the woman in the room across the way Nancy Reagan.
He says that’s who she looks like, but I don’t know.
My bed doesn’t face her way. I can only imagine her.
I see her window reflected onto mine.
Someone has hung three brightly colored pictures:
lilies, a butterfly, what looks like home.
Nancy Reagan does not speak. She writes “thank you” on her whiteboard.
She films a silent video for her grandchildren.
One day she falls from her bed and cries and cries and cries.
It is the first time I hear her make a sound.
Her grandchildren are gone. No nurses come to lift her up.
I would save her if I weren’t connected to wires and tubes,
if my legs were a little stronger, if I could scream.
Every day I move a little more, and her a little less.
We leave the hospital on the same day.
Her EMTs arrive the moment before mine.
She cries again. Her pictures are gone.
I ask my nurse where Nancy is headed. She doesn’t smile.
Home. Hospice. Home again.
The EMTs hoist me away. Nancy stays.