My patient, Paul, wrote in a poem that he belongs to the wayward wind, a restless breed, a strange and hardy class.
I’ve been with him for two years and now he is dying.
“Are you in pain, Paul?” I ask.
“I AM pain,” he said.
But he is refusing medication, although his cancer has spread from his kidneys to his lungs, brain and bones.
Somehow bearing this pain to the grave is his last act of defiance, bravery-repentance.
My hands are tied. My job now is to protect his choice and later, as promised to collect his ashes, read his poems in my garden then set him free in the wind where he belongs.