A health aide awakens mom,
administers her 8 a.m. methadone,
mixes lemon juice, honey, hot water,
offers saltines to counteract bitterness, nausea.
“It’s too sugary” mother complains,
despite no alterations to a concoction
identical to the brewed toddy
she praised yesterday.
Medication for terminal cancer
has perverted her taste buds,
stifled appetite, stripped every
mealtime of pleasure.
Mortality contaminates beverages,
ironically infuses soup, sherbet, tea
with insufferable sweetness.