End of Life ‘Care’

These people see me now as something old;
A dusty, wrinkled thing – long broken down —
Not someone vibrant, who, with manifold
Expressive loving gifts dons this green gown

For I am no one now; not anyone.
These owlish, peering eyes that merely stare
Try to invoke humanity in them:
They look past me as though I was not there

They don’t mean ill, they do not feel at all;
I’m just another client in a bed —
Who’s so unprepossessing in his mien
That should I, in five minutes, turn up dead,

They’ll register that there are no heartbeats:
Then merely move the corpse, and change the sheets


 Now paralyzed, pressed down, and held in place
 Your back in spasms, grabbing, catching fire
 A drama with no story to amaze
 Just turgid, painful truth, internal red

 Believe in no one, welcome everything
 This was the mantra, no? Or was it this:
 Palatial are the regions of the heart
 That soon lie empty as a ghost in Spring

 The bed becomes a cage, a snare, a trap
 The mind becomes a dark, accusing judge
 The world outside is snowing mail and sludge
 And you're back here again, back here again

lying awake

she lies awake and wonders where it went
the glow that once surrounded who she was
for all the hidden talents she’s misspent
for random choices, lacking a “because”

in stillness now, she thinks of one mistake
her mother’s eyes with tears were dabbed and flecked
for all that woman’s faults, for goodness sake
she didn’t merit wanton disrespect

but now, her mother gone beyond her reach
the tears beset her eyes, and she feels shame
the lessons only loneliness can teach
when there is no one else that’s left to blame

but she’s no worse than most: it’s how she’s built
to lie awake awash in waves of guilt