Do Not Resuscitate

We got the death sentence 

today, and papers to sign saying,

we give up.

I won’t tell her what the papers

are because she’s only 7 

but somehow she knows

because this morning she said,

Momma, please don’t call 911

when I die. Let me go to Heaven.

Still I refuse to sign them and 

put them away, at least while

the relatives are here to see her.

But they refuse to see, bringing

candy that sears the blisters

in her mouth, and size 7 clothes

that swallow the size 4 shell

of the child I knew.

They don’t like to hear her talk

about Heaven when she should still be

fighting and all the time she is fighting

chills and fever, but waits to vomit

until they leave.

She begs for a Bible story and then I’m the one

with chills as the words

on the page remind me—

Let the children come to me.