Blood pressure and insulin levels
speak without words about life
in the sickroom shared by husband
and wife who will be
—face-to-face how much longer?
Nothing she can say will outperform
the miracle of 21 painkillers—
and so they exchange air
filled with the smell of plastic bottles,
bodily fluids and sugary cookies not meant
for diabetics. She does what she can—
while he struggles to say thank you.
Handmade be-well pictures fill the walls
of the front office converted to makeshift
Palliative Care ward, with its mechanized
rental bed—the one she’s cleans 1,000 times
playing the role of nurse, priest and muse.
Slowly, her prayers expand
to fill the silence,
sensing God ready to take over.
Here, near the end.
PHOTO: I took this photo on the Island of Iona, Scotland on pilgrimage.
“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.” Psalm 25:1
My poems are published in: Crux, Alive Now, Presence Journal, Weavings, Island Journal, Prairie Journal, Prairie Messenger and Transition Mental Health Journal among others. My second collection of poems, Sky Under Water: poems for where we live is on ibooks. My third collection, Little Dove, is available by contacting me directly firstname.lastname@example.org