I just recently recieved mail from Shriley A. Serviss, she is the Staff Literary Artist on the Wards and representative for the Friends of University Hospital. Shirley has informed me that I am one of eight poets who's poetry has been selected to be framed and hung on the Poetry Walk of the second floor hallway at the U of A Hospital. This is a touching blessing.
The poem was a difficult write illuminating emotional difficulties endured by the dying and the genuine blessing that nursing care provides to the terminally ill.
Days and nights
and time and telling
and knowing hours filled
with minutes longer than hours.
Sleepless and painful
days and nights,
Medicated labyrinths of longing
for breath, for light, for freedom.
Escaping fog for escapes of pain.
Escaping pain for escapes of fog.
and never knowing
which breath is the last breath.
Small liberties lost,
deafening confinements amplified!
Confinements in self.
Confinement in individual isolated acceptances.
Alone and frantic for memories of touch.
The nurses, the nightingales, more familiar than family.
No one wants to come
to hold the hands of diseased and crippling
disfigurements of the inevitable.
To give the pain of letting go,
or to be the last hand you hold.
There is death ……….
and then there is death.