To forsake all others.
To float the beloved on your back
from flood to land, to wrench bread
from the beggar's hand, snatch
the oxygen mask from a child's face.
To ransack hospitals and nursing homes
for drugs to ease the beloved's pain,
to stumble down 101 floors, beloved
slung on your back, not stopping
for the other ones in wheelchairs
waiting at the landing doors.
Alice James Books