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"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue


In the ICU

doing a New York Times crossword,
I ask my daughter

if she knows the Japanese word for yes.
She laughs, says she hasn't a clue.

Her mother, who I thought was asleep,
pipes up, says in the clearest voice

I've heard in days,
"I'm up for learning some Japanese."

Even while busy
with the demanding work

of dying, my wife
always up for learning something new.