January 30, 2006

This is for My Grandmother

by Felicia Nimue Ackerman

This is for my grandmother, Carolyn Colby.

"Terminal cancer," the doctor said. His eyes filled with tears.

"I'll get you the best hospice care in Boston." He put his arm around her.

My grandmother's eyes were cloudy but dry.

She said, "I'm 84, I've had a good life, so I don't want to die.

I want experimental treatment."

"That would ruin the time you've got left," the doctor said.

My grandmother said, "I'll risk it," and she did

And died of a stroke

On her 93rd birthday.

Felicia Nimue Ackerman is a professor of philosophy at Brown University. Her short stories have appeared in Prize Stories 1990: The O. Henry Awards, Commentary, Playgirl, Mid-American Review and elsewhere.

Posted on January 30, 2006