prognosis: the potential or expected outcome; a forecast or prediction; in medicine, the expected course of recovery from disease or injury.
He waited for death to stumble
at the very spot he could not ponder.
There was no dodge, no pact, no plan,
no go-to man. No one to forecast how
this would end. Wife, son, nurse
all tried to shuffle a word in edgewise.
His sturdy silence was overpowering.
An amputated lung, hairless and laden
with ulcers, he hung upon the lip of hope.
Only the doctor took his side, small comfort,
now abed with broken ribs, tube forced down
hollow throat, family shoved to the periphery.