Hospital in Oregon

Shhh, my grandmother is sleeping,
They doped her up with morphine for her last hours.
Her eyes are black and vacant like a deer’s.
She says she hears my grandfather calling.

A deerfly enters through a tear in the screen,
Must’ve escaped from those there sickly Douglas firs.
Flits from ankle to elbow, then lands on her ear.
Together, they listen to the ancient valley.

From A Portrait of the Self as Nation: New and Selected Poems (W. W. Norton, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Marilyn Chin. Used with the permission of the poet.