Hospice House

Author | Alan Harris

They’ve been numerically labeled
all their lives

first husbands, second wives
the last four of their social security number

Not anymore
for here each room is the name of a tree

What used to be 227
is now the Magnolia Suite

Each cold metal door
is replaced by natural grains

which took years of sunrises
and thunder bursts

to ensure the humanity
of the temporary boarder within


About the Author | Alan Harris is a hospice volunteer and graduate student. Harris is in the MSW program at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He helps hospice patients convert thought, conversations and memories into memoir, letters, and poetry. Wayne State University awarded Harris the 2015 Tompkins Award in Poetry.