Melissa Woods

“you cannot stand to see me weak”
goddammit, of course not
your vulnerability, it kills me.

your eyes were never placid
till that final night.
I poke through the dirt
violent with pride.
in heavy heaves that rage
and stop.

Naked layers, cutting brambles.
I could not stand to watch you die.
The truth is wretched.
It is not like TV,
your eyes roll back in your head
and I think about
all the ways to hide it.
I wrap the gaping hospital gown
tight against your withered thighs

We take these crazy, crazy pictures.
It doesn’t seem right to smile.

everyone is vulnerable
this is how you make it.

I don’t know where those photos are.



Melissa Woods is a writer who lives in Boise, ID with her six kids, husband and a full time schedule at Boise State University. Her most recent publication, “Feeding Piper,” can be found in Memoir Magazine.