They told us he

was a gentleman

and gentlemen protect

their families

and are private

in their affairs,

so he would not

be likely to leave

his body while

we were in the room.


We learned not to say

See you tomorrow, Dad

when we retired for the night,

taking away his last reason to live.


Instead, we gave him permission to go.


But no matter how well prepared

you are to say goodbye,

when your cell plays

Mozart’s Turkish March

in the middle of the night,

it punches you in the gut,

takes your breath away.

Charlotte Jones writes poetry and flash fiction in Houston, TX.  Her work has appeared in over eighty literary and commercial magazines including The Bellevue Literary Review, Nerve Cowboy and Barbaric Yawp, which nominated her for a Pushcart Prize.  When not writing, she loves to golf, sing, play the piano and travel, most recently venturing to the Galapagos and Antarctica.