DECISION | Ron Lands


after Louise Gluck

“The Night Migrations”

This is the moment when

I wish he’d never asked,

the moment when I have

to tell the truth.

It grieves me to think

his glimmer of hope

is an illusion, that he thinks

life might go on.

What will his soul do

when It hears my answer? Stay

a while or punch its ticket,

leave on the next flight.


Ron Lands is a semi-retired hematologist at UT Medical Center, Knoxville, Tennessee and an MFA alumnus of Queens University of Charlotte. He practiced medicine for many years near the community in East Tennessee where he grew up and was privileged to treat strangers, lifelong friends and a few relatives. He has published short stories, poems and essays in literary and medical journals. His writing is about those experiences.