Friday, April 17, 2020

Rest Well Mother

Unedited, I wrote this poem the night after a visit to my mother whose lifeless body lie in a hospital bed. Later that day, she died of liver cancer. This poem captures the true essence of 'our' time together at that particular moment—December 26, 2007.

Rest Well Mother

you lay in a hospital bed
a thousand thoughts run through my head
your eyes are shut
your mouth shows no movement
I know the words I speak
go through one ear and out the other
but you know
I’m right here by your side

last night I was here
you opened your eyes
looked right into mine and said
you've always been
the beautiful one
your words linger in my ears
like a song stuck in my head
there to reside for eternal years

open your eyes
look at me
and tell me more
tell me how as a little girl
I made you laugh so hard
until your sides hurt
tell me how you felt
when I hugged you
and told you how much I love you

now I only see a tear
rolling down your soft cheek
I thought I also hear a bleak whisper
drowned by the hum
of hospital monitors
wires and tubes
                    they feed you

I try to accept the fact
that this is all real, not just an act
but I can’t and I’m fed up
so I’ll just keep my mouth shut
I can only hope for the best
that your pain will subside
if it makes you feel better
I too burn with ache deep inside

how can I say I feel your pain?
when the truth is, I feel numb
secretly in the dark I cry in vain
thoughts of malady that you succumb
words of hope floats around you
like a school of disoriented birds
denial is in full strength brew
given the circumstances in regard
give yourself permission
                                   be tired

be guided by the bright light
you have served your purpose in life
though my heart will bleed in sorrow
as you slowly fade away
I know deep down inside
you are hurting in more ways than you show
as cruel as it may sound
I have to bid you goodbye
there are no more words to find
rest well my mother, don’t cry
your children
your children's children
will be just fine

rest well my mother
I'll meet you on the Other side

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