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This poem is taken from PN Review 204, Volume 38 Number 4, March - April 2012.

Three Sonnets on the Coup de Grâce Dan Burt
1

She stands by the bed, breath caught, murderess
To be, no Borgia, but a shire belle
Gone fifty, wearing a rumpled dress
Witness to her night watch for a senile
Man who reeks of spearmint from liniment
For bed sores, (Is this still my father?),
Moaning, insensible, incontinent
(Is this wreck him?). 
                                Her hands spasm, hover
Near drip and catheter doctors won't forego,
Grab, then tape a pillow to white stubble;
The body writhes below, life won't let go.
The saviour drops her weapon and scuttles
Off in tears.
                  Drunk, at times she'll corner
A stranger and confess filial failure.
...


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