A WOMAN DYING.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
A WOMAN LIES DYING.

Submitted: September 03, 2009

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Submitted: September 03, 2009

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You know you are breathing your last
And lying on your deathbed. Funny
Expression that, you muse, feeling
The pillow at the back of your head,
Being slightly propped up, your hands
Lying limp on the bed covers. Breathing
Is hard; you have to gulp, as if you were
Coming up for air after diving deep
Beneath water. There is no one about.

Not a sound except birds outside the window.
You wonder how long you’ve been lying there
And who had dressed you in the nightgown
And tucked you tightly in like a parcel
Ready for posting. You remember a doctor
Coming at sometime, leaning over you,
Touching your wrist, and putting his cold
Hand on your forehead. Remember that.
Little else. There was a woman standing
By the door, you recall, young looking.

Dressed in black and white. A servant maybe.
You don’t know. The doctor had whispered
To you or to whom you didn’t know. Think.
Hard to. Mind a muddle like a murky puddle.
Was there someone else in the room at the time?
Apart from the doctor and the woman by the door?
You don’t remember. Staring. Yes, the woman stared.
You recall that. Not compassionately, but more
Like one coming across a dead body on a beach.
There is a pain in your chest. Breathing is hard.

Who’d put you in the bed? you muse, trying
To move, but finding each slight movement
An agony. Room is chilly, as if rarely used.
A fire is alight in the grate, but small, giving
Little heat. Thick curtains dim the daylight,
Which are drawn together. You feel nauseous.
Your head feels heavy. Had you been brought
Here as a guest, you wonder, ringing your hands
Together and touching the finger of each
Hand in turn. Not married, no ring. Bare fingers.

Thin fingers. Bony. Cold. You move your feet
Together beneath the covers, toe-to-toe, and heel
To heel. Warm, yes, they are warm. Legs feel stiff.
Knees touch. Voices. You can hear them now.
You move your head and stare at the door.
Your neck aches. That took effort that movement.
Painful too. You sense your bladder is full.
When were you toileted last? You don’t remember.
Needed to now. Who was coming? Anyone?
You mouth words, but no words come.

The voices are outside the door. You are sure
They are. Whose? They seem muffled as if coming
Through cloth. You stare at the door hard.
Hardly breathing. You try to sit up, but your
Body won’t move. The hands clutch each other,
The teeth bite the lower lip. The door handle turns
And the door opens. The woman comes in who
Had been there before and a man whose face
You don’t know, follows her. Large man. Thick brows.

Eyes like a bulls. Dark and round. He moves beside
The bed and gazes at you. The woman comes up
Behind him. The man speaks, but you don’t understand
His words. They seem broken as if each syllable has
Been stamped on. The woman behind him stares,
Shakes her head and mouths something. The man
Touches your hand and squeezes your wrist.
The woman moves to the other side of the bed
And puts her small hand on your forehead.
Her hand is cold. It cools. It refreshes slightly.

The man mutters something and the woman
Lifts your head and rearranges the pillows
Then lays you down again. Your eyes feel heavy.
Breathing harder. Voices float. Whiteness
Surrounds you. Light warms you. Someone
Kisses your brow, someone holds your hand.
You feel lifted up as if someone carries you.
You cannot open your eyes. No sounds.
No sense. Nothing more. Just light, warmth,
And a numbness of bones and flesh
And sleep; seemingly perpetual sleep.


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