Monday, November 21

Last Breath


I often wonder what your last
thoughts were as you
lay in that stiff and sterile
hospital bed, the poisonous
cancer rushing through your blood
finishing to feast on the last
alive cells—
turning them black
and rotted like the rest.

While you slept your second wife
shaved your stubble because you
couldn't do it yourself anymore.
Or maybe you were too proud—
maybe you let them grow,
your tiny grey, prickly hairs
knowing this would be the last
time they crawled from beneath
your skin to see the daylight.
But they didn’t see the daylight—
they saw that sickly florescent glow.
You smelled that sterilized
hospital smell that tried to mask
the omnipresent ghost
of sickness and death
and it made you want to die 
then and there. You
wondered if you’d ever see
the light of day again.

When you lived your final
feeble days did you know
they would be your last?
Did you weep? Did you weep
because you knew you would never
feel the sea's precious water
glide past your sunburnt skin,
never feel the warmth
of the sun on your face?
Did you weep because you
could feel each and every
dip and rise of your rib bones
as if you were skinless—
because you could feel
your heart slowing and
slowing at each breath?
Did you weep because you knew
you would never taste Grönkohl again,
never drink your favourite
Schwäbischer whiskey,
never see us again?
Did you weep because we weren't
at your side when you died?
Did you even notice we weren't there?
I wonder if you forgot us. I wept
because we weren't at your side.
I'm sorry.
I've never seen your grave.
I don't even know if you were buried
or cremated. If you sleep in the earth,
who lies in the ground next to you?
Maybe he forgot to say goodbye too.
I'm forgetting what you look like now
but sometimes I look at that photo
of when you first saw me as a baby
and I remember. You lifted me high
and your Bert Reynolds moustache tickled
my tiny belly. Mum says I have your lips.

I wish I could remember everything
that has ever happened in as clear detail
as the moment I lived it. I would remember
a lot of bad things
but I wouldn’t
forget
you.


A lengthy poem today about my grandfather's death some years ago. I hope it's not too depressing.
I recently finished uni for the year and now I'm looking forward to relaxing for the summer.
I hope you are all well and thank you for reading my poems. I appreciate your kind words so much. x

photo by Sarah Hermans

16 comments:

Valmai said...

Depressing but so incredibly beautiful. The shaving part nearly took my breath away. Your writings are always desired.

shannonmaree said...

This is so sad but touching. Sorry to hear about your loss.
Thankyou so much for your comments. My film came out better than expected, which was great :)

x

tasha faye said...

i feel the exact same way. my grandma passed away when i was 9 because of cancer too. i miss her so incredibly much but when i think i'm about to forget, all of the memories flood my mind and i smile again and remember that her favorite flowers at yellow carnations and her ever-smiling face. :) thank YOU for your kind words, love. xx

BK Punia said...

What a powerful piece of poetry. You have a real talent. I felt all the emotion in your words. The little details are what make it so incredible and emotional.

haze said...

you made me cry. this is really beautiful.

Lili said...

I can relate to this. Very beautiful written. <3

Love,
Lili xx

liana said...

<3
this is sad....

Magda said...

Beautiful.

Jasmin said...

wow. seriously. just wow. incredible.

Kim said...

This is tragically beautiful. You have such potency with words. x.x

Justalazymorning said...

love this!
xoxo

Norah Salvatore said...

I'm well aware of the feelings the live in these words, dear, yet never have I ever thought them as beautiful as they way you have made them now. You have a true gift and I hope that you remember that, always. (I hope you're well) xx

kerrod said...

ugh, I know that this poem was written a long time ago, but it's still beautiful.
hope you are happy and healthy.
x

iffy said...

beautiful.

fiercely. said...

psst...don't disappear...<3

Junaluska said...

I miss your writings. Hope everything's going well with you.