Mother

Gray hair that once was brown

Straight that used to curl

Not combing or brushing

Not washing or rinsing

Just tangling on her head.

 

Body so frail that once ran

Legs that can’t even stand

Not moving or twitching

Not lifting or stretching

Just resting in the bed.

 

Eyes that once so clearly saw

Every mistake, every flaw

Not blinking or closing

Not focusing or watching

Just staring straight ahead.

 

Mind that once measured

Each phrase, each meaning

Not thinking or dreaming

Not pitting or planning

Just forgetting all said.

 

Voice that once spoke

Of family and friends

Not whispering or shouting

Not bragging or lying

Just lost in a void.

 

Gone now.

Laid at rest.

Still.

Silent.

Peace at last.

Looking Back

I never touched her.

Not really.

I held her hand

and stroked her blue-veined fingers.

I patted her shoulder

and pulled the gown up around her neck.

But I never touched her.

Not really.

I massaged her arms

and tucked the blankets under her legs.

When she cried in pain

and called for someone, anyone to help,

I never touched her.

Not really.

When tears poured down her cheeks

and tremors shook her skeletal frame,

When she struggled to breathe

and begged for water to moisten her lips,

I never touched her.

Not really.

I never looked into her eyes

or kissed her wrinkled cheek.

I should have held her tightly

and chased away her hallucinations.

I never touched her.

Not really.

When she truly needed a friend

and called for someone, anyone to be near,

When she breathed her last breath

and crossed over to God’s side,

I never touched her.

Not really.

A Place in Time

Alone

In the middle of a crowded room

Silent voices scream for recognition

Fear

Twists guts into compressed clay

Paralyzing limbs, numbing throats

Degradation

Fills the ears of the emotionally injured

Ruining scarce moments of hard-fought joy

Depression

Carries sinking hearts into oblivion

Erasing memories of happiness felt

Hands

Reach out, begging for salvation

Yearning for one sign of love

Answers

Arrive in rain-soaked clouds

Pouring down tears of understanding

Compassion

Clears the night of unmasked terrors

Awakening remnants of esteem, long forgotten

Joy

Blooms in multi-colored bursts of words

Spoken, thoughts shared, kindnesses felt

Light

Seeps into the crevices of the heart

Obliterating shards of self-doubt

Happiness

Explodes in multicolored bursts

Opening souls to welcoming voices

Surrounded

Encased

Enfolded

Alone no more

 

 

Freedom

Fortune laughs in the old woman’s face

Shuffle all that’s left of dancer’s grace

Wrinkled arms that once would fling and flay

Hang heavy and refuse to obey.

 

Her heart, weak and constantly famished

Cries for her torture to be finished

No longer she yearns for love to feel

Instead waits for heaven’s bell to peal

 

Eyes as tired as Victorian lace

Blinded to God’s everlasting grace

Steal bindings encircle shriveled chest

Restrict the ability to rest

 

In hardened bed of thorns she reclines

As witness to loneliness she pines

With every sinew, bone and ounce

She besieges Master Death to pounce

 

Oh please, oh please, Lord do me allow

To end this torturous life right now

I’ve lived my life as best as I could

Upon my principles I have stood

 

There is nothing now that I regret

Except for people I did forget

Forgive my sins, for I am weak

Give me the release, which I do seek

 

Then with smile upon her wizened face

She experienced God’s loving grace

Flying free of her skeletal frame

She joyously sand out God’s name