Oxygen slithers
–tube to mask,
mouth to lungs–
while patches of relief,
queued like checkers,
dot the neck in front-line
defense against the next
painful onslaught probing
for a breach in the wall.

Day one, day two,
now three. Chaos
vying for control while
quiet routine endures:
the cleansing, the turning,
the comforting, the cloaking
with compassion of the harsh
and naked truth– death’s
fetid presence is seeping
into the room.

A daughter sits nearby
rocking to the rhythm
of breathing that bubbles
to the surface of this quiet night,
rocking to memories of a vigil
past when liquid spirits numbed
her heart far, far away
as father died and mother
cried alone.

In the morning,
the mother will die,
daughter at her side, and
a steady stream of tears
will wash away the last
of the long winter’s snow.

© 2006 Dennis Ference

2 thoughts on “Resurrexit

  1. Death can be bitter……..but it can also be a celebration. When our ancient ones are ready, we simply hold their hand as they pass into everlasting love. I was privileged to do this with my 93 year old mother in law.

    • This death was a true resurrection for the daughter who could not face her father’s death and retreated into an alcoholic stupor. Her presence, with accompanying tears, at her mother’s passing was a significant symbol of new life for her and her ability to face both life and death.

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