Potted roses frame the green door,
their citrus perfume drifting in the breeze;
nearby the windows are ajar,
beckoning the wind and myrtle trees
to tease the curtains to a soft billow.
No newspaper on the porch to yellow,
the brick steps are swept. So it seems
that things are peaceful, normal, nothing telling.
But inside she lives from test to test,
and illness builds like a hurricane.
In her bones she’s too cold to rest,
yet stoic as a soldier, she refrains
from disclosing anything amiss.
With help, she maintains the rose façade,
the privacy she’s loath to dismiss.
From across the street, there’s nothing odd
or different, and we’re lulled into believing
what we see, and go about our chores.
Still I wonder, have we failed her—leaving
her alone behind the green door?