Sunday, January 13, 2013


Poetry sweeps into the room
By virtue of a nurse and a chaplain
Their compassionate steps
Tattoo iambic patterns and line
Breaks that interrupt the last-ditch
Life-saving measures as surely
As if an emcee has come forth
And cried, "Halt" then with kind hands
Lifts an invisible burden, no less heavy
For being unseen from off my mother's
Frail form, then bending low to me
Before taking leave, nods
To the chaplain as she prays, whispers
In my ear, something incomprehensible
But with that, takes my burden too,
Leaves me drunk, reeling
With a feeling of too little sleep yet
Secure in the knowledge that now
Whatever she might wish—to stay
And battle on—or, and as I watch
Her breaths diminishing by the moment—
Go with her God; she knows he has
Prepared a room in his palace for her—
Both of us are in enough of a state
Of grace to accept.


  1. I love the sweep of this poem - the elegance of language and line that is so appropriate to the subject and leads to the dignity of the "in enough a state of grace" final words. It is lovely, and liturgical and with that single word "enough" eminently accepting and thoroughly authentically human and humane - a beautiful poem.

  2. This is a beautiful and articulate expression of a difficult and sometimes harsh reality. I too found poetry to be a saving grace and thank you for sharing this with all of us,


  3. Beautiful work, Sharon. You are sharing your grace with all of us, and it is appreciated. Thanks.

  4. Sharon, how lovely, both what you say and how you say it. You paint an intimate scene and allow us to be part of it. Thus, poetry works its magic.

  5. What amazing grace - this is good for my heart. xo

  6. I love the invisible burden. It's all so good and not 'wordlie'. a great sense of being there.

  7. Oh, Sharon. This is an incredible piece. I have to borrow the word "grace"-ful from several comments above. Just beautiful.

  8. I completely agree with Margo, Sharon. This is wonderful, and thank you.


  9. Sharon, this poem of the soul and its many manifestations - from the religious entities who visit the dying to the weight lifted from the mother... I actually had this experience, being with my own mom, and knowing we would both be OK, each on our side of The Thin Place... Lovely and heartfelt. Amy

  10. This reminded me that my mother in law, in hospice at the end, asked--ASKED--if it was all right to let go

    1. I so relate to this barbara (not sure why I didn't see it earlier) but as the night wore on and my mother became less with us and gone elsewhere (I believe, am not sure of course), she began asking "to go" or for someone to "let me go". While the nurses kept urging us to tell her to breathe oxygen through her nose - she has had a deviated septum for decades so I knew that wasn't going to be happening but it didn't seem to matter - they seemed to think her "rantings" were of little consequence. The closer we got to morning, the more insistent she seemed and also, the wearier. I finally found myself getting as close to her as I could, whispering to her to "let go" and "go on", "when you're ready, you just go" because I had that same feeling, that she felt she needed someone's permission. When a nurse finally said she was within minutes of "going" ie, dying, I was left alone with Mom and had a few seconds to ask forgiveness for being such a shitty daughter but I also got to tell her I forgave her (without going into specifics) and it seemed as if she was perfectly cognizant right then...her tone of voice changed and it was as if she was saying "uh huh" - entirely different from any other noise she'd been making up 'til then.Then I was urging her to just let go and she did. It's an amazing thing, to be with someone when they breathe their last and I did and do consider it a real privilege.

  11. Oh wow - this is exquisite. I am so impressed with what you have done with the prompt words. Like other commenters, your poem whisks me back to my grandmother's bedside as she breathed her last. Thank you.

  12. A powerful and caressing piece. Having been there, your description is more defined and spot on. My thoughts keep you close and your words keep ME close. Thank you, Sharon.

  13. As always, I am fascinated at the variety of responses that rise so beautifully from the same dozen words. Nicely done!.

  14. This is so beautiful, and so obviously written with great love.

  15. Sharon, this beautiful poem read like a song.

  16. Embarrassing - another week I get the next wordle written before replying to comments from the last ... it is amazing to me that I will seem to be sere, dried up, no poems and no thoughts of poems - as if the muse has said, "oh, go be sad ... miserable ... whatever it is the grieving are supposed to be doing, do that..." and then, wham - a small stone, an email, something happens, and all hell break loose and I can't not write - and it's all part and parcel of this death and the feelings surrounding it - and it feels so right and so wrong but it feels impossible to do anything but write it when it strikes so ... I am.

    Thank you all for coming here on this journey with me and being oh-so-supportive ... I really don't know what I'd do without you. I mean it. You are the best and knowing you are here listening, reading, caring - it's everything. Thank you.