To the living, the words for death are like the dead. 
When they come calling, they’re difficult to make out, 
ragged at the edges, unaccountable ghosts, 
voices hoarse and thin with long disuse.

To the dying, the words for life evoke the same 
uncanny shudder. Once the word endure 
had fire in her eyes, strode so firmly 
across the boards of morning, they groaned at her passage.

Now at night she whimpers in the corridor. 
Someone calls timidly, but she won’t come in.