Waiting for Death

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
A poem that tries to portray the emotions I felt in the last couple of days of my Mother's life.

Submitted: March 14, 2016

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Submitted: March 14, 2016

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Waiting for Death…

 

Friday 5pm...

 

We’re waiting for Death in bedroom three of the Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

He’s got an appointment with Mum you see, a matter of little auspice.

“It will be soon” the doctor said, “call and gather the kin”.

There’s no more time to look ahead, no more need of medicine.

 

And so we sit in silence, not knowing what to say.

A morbid, muted audience, full of quiet dismay.

We ask her foolish questions like “are you comfortable”?

And offer daft suggestions, “have something from the table”.

 

The staff here are brilliant; they’ve done everything they can.

They’ve treated Mum like a favourite aunt, ever since that dreadful scan

Told us the cancer was everywhere and it was just a matter of time.

Nothing left but drugs and prayer before the death-bells chime.

 

Saturday 8am…

 

We’re waiting for Death in bedroom three, he didn’t call last night.

The ferryman’s boat stays on the quay, no paths of shining light.

It’s over 12 hours since Mum last woke, she doesn’t know we’re here.

Even longer since she last spoke, it won’t be long I fear.

 

She’s eaten nothing for a week and drank water in tiny sips.

She lies there fading mild and meek, no terse remarks or quips.

There’s no point letting this go on, so get on your horse and ride.

There’s a soul here that needs harvesting, your place is by her side.

 

Any God who’s listening please grant this mortal’s plea.

Send your Reaper to do his job and set Mum’s spirit free.

Is it wrong to think like this and want this suffering to end?

Am I being selfish? No I don’t think so, it’s her time to ascend.

 

Saturday 7pm…

 

We’re waiting for Death in bedroom three, he hasn’t come today.

I feel like unwanted debris scattered on Hell’s highway.

Useless now, unable to help, unable to disappear.

Talking every now and then just to let her know I’m here.

 

Either no-one’s listening or Mum isn’t ready to go.

Perhaps there’s need for more dwindling, oh say it isn’t so.

Surely she has suffered enough, she doesn’t deserve this fate.

I know she’s made of sterner stuff, but I can’t stand the wait.

 

Sunday 1am…

 

Mum breathed her last at midnight, Death finally showed his face.

There was no flickering of the light, of him there was no trace.

No sound of a galloping horse, no reflection from the scythe.

A silent, certain force, invisible to those alive

 

Mum did what she always did and didn’t make a fuss.

When the time came, away she slid and sat down on the bus

That will take her to a better place to reflect and heal and rest.

A place that’s nothing but love and grace, a place for the truly blessed.

 

And the family sit in silence, sipping tea the nurses brought.

Battling our emotions, and stare grimly at her corpse.

Not knowing what to say or think, remembering Mum’s career.

Until one has the courage to say “There’s nothing for us here”.

 

One by one we stand up and place a kiss upon her cheek.

Then make our way outside the room, quiet, forlorn and meek.

Mum was a true matriarch, a leader of our house.

Remember her with love and thanks, this treasured mother and spouse.

 

And as I write the ending, tears flow freely from my eyes.

But I’ll not be sad for long Mum, even now to my surprise

I’m smiling as I think of you – I remember you with pride.

I love you Mum and rest assured, I’ll see you on the flip side.


© Copyright 2017 Simon Streeton. All rights reserved.