Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Of frail hearts



The doctors say they couldn't find the cause 
of flooding in your lungs.  With each inhalation,
a rippling pain crosses your gaunt face.

You ask for the priest to give you
Last Rites.   There is no rancor nor rage in
your words.   Your neck bows in graceful acceptance.  

Of storms.  Of changing winds.  
Your husband weeps, his own frail heart stitched
years earlier, a child now, drowning in fears -

I turn clock inside out
I am filling the empty spaces
I am rebuilding the walls & roof

I am hanging up family pictures
I am wearing the rings & brooch of grandma
I am telling the butterflies to wait, please wait-

But your face is serene on hospital bed  
ribs punctured with tubes, fingers needled with wires,
and from your tongue 
praises of His Words, His Exalted Name- 

Our hands touch, drawing strength from each other
River into sea, sea into river
Outside, tropical sun glints hard orange orb
  
This began with root of your frail heart
But now I learned that yours
is always steel, uncommon fire-

We exchanged gifts that day:

yours, art of breathing more gratitude-
mine, lesson in becoming less fearful 

of darkness -



Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - OpenLinkNight - Thanks for the visit ~

This happened more than 2 years ago with my mom, but she survived and is doing well ~  The gift of life is a precious lesson for me.

65 comments:

  1. when a parent is in pain...when they are close to death or feel so close...or even when hurt it can be so hard...our roles change...from the one cared for to having to care for them...and the emotions are def strong...

    the telling the butterflies to wait...that was a stand out point in this for me grace.

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    1. Sometimes the role reversal can be a painful reality ~ But I am thankful that both of them are fine now and not needing any critical care ~ Thanks Brian ~

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    2. Deeply touching. I especially like how you brought nature into it. So glad for the outcome.

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    3. Haunting! The lines of life are so well defined~ I too love telling the butterflies to wait-beautifully written.

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  2. Turbulent moments becoming calm and fearless...a beautiful transition....so nicely penned....

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  3. Incredibly powerful and emotional, glad your mom is still with you. This is one that will stay with me.

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  4. Some of us have adopted the metaphysical notion that death is not to be feared, for it is only a doorway, a transition, a portal--and this floods the darkness with white light. Your poem is touching, has the tensile strength of titanium, and how wonderful that it has an upbeat ending; my mother died at 39 years of age; life can be merciless.

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    1. Too young an age Glenn ~ But then growing old and waiting for death to finally come can also be just as merciless ~ Thanks for your response ~

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  5. Wow..this brought me back to losing my mom. So sad to see them in pain. I am thankful that your mom survived.

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  6. It is so difficult to have something like this strike so suddenly & then have the fear that one's parent will die way too soon. Your poem expressed the feelings well. I am glad she has recovered. I think once one goes through something like this one appreciates life more than one did before, realizing just how fragile and precious it is.

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  7. Death is a fear that most of us thankfully don't have to face constantly... I think you really describe the fear of being left behind so well.. a fear that is perhaps stronger than the fear of dying... very glad she got through...

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  8. oh, Grace... this brought me to tears. You are so lucky you still have your mom!

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  9. oh i'm glad she survived and is doing well... my dad died from lung cancer... it's terrible when breathing causes such pain

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  10. You painted the fear and the ensuing caring feelings and deeds in a very effective manner, Grace! I am glad your mom recovered and is doing well.

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  11. This is a stunning poem. Brings much hope!

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  12. Brilliant Grace. One of your very best. Our hearts beat with you reading every word.

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  13. Beautiful Grace! moments such as these define our strength, embrace our courage and lift our souls... even through the sadness of passing. Very nicely done.

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  14. Glad she is fine now, that had tobe hard in every way. But we do learn from it

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  15. This is really intense and really well-written... though I'm sorry you had to go through such a scare. It is so hard to watch parents, loved ones, go through these things... I really loved the way you ended this, with that exchange of gifts. Really beautiful.

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  16. I am not sure why this evokes such a response from me , but this turn here: yours is always steel, uncommon fire- that which started as frail heart. Just powerful all te way through Grace, ultimately a beautiful picture, though painful.

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  17. Intense, graceful, and those last two lines - with the pause between them - so touching!

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  18. This moved me to tears, been a long time since that's happened. Thank you for sharing.

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  19. Speechless. This poem is perfect in every way. It is a gift and my heart is so full it is spilling a little out of my eyes.

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  20. A very powerful write Grace. I especially liked 'I turn clock inside out
    I am filling the empty spaces
    I am rebuilding the walls & roof' >KB

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  21. Isn't it strange how the hardest vigils become almost chapels in memory. Such a fine job here finding reverence inside that space. And the exchange at the end -- what you each learn -- is brilliant. Fine work, Grace.

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  22. So moving Grace, and beautifully writ...and I love what you learned in the end...and that she pulled through!

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  23. regardless of what we believe, our capacity for growth can not be met in a lifetime. enjoyed

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  24. Oh my, this gave me goosebumps. Your words are beautiful and expressive. The imagery of transition, and of faith. This touched my soul.

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  25. "This began with root of your frail heart
    But now I learned that yours
    is always steel"

    Powerful poem, Grace.

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  26. I have just been through a similar experience...you capture the reality with a beautiful poem.

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  27. very beautiful, the beginning just pulls you in.. some really powerful lines.

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  28. you pen what is for many an emotional roller coaster... I face that everyday with my mother... it is a time for strength but is not easy...

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  29. Such a tender, moving piece. It is so hard to see a loved one ill and you described the emotional connection between parent and child when facing such a thing. Beautiful Grace.

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  30. I am so glad to read that your mum is still doing well. I can identify, those 12 days I watched my dad slip away will never leave me, but I have learned so much from that time, so very much, and am grateful for all the lessons I have learned. This poem reminds me of so many things, says them so well. Thank you.

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  31. These crises are hard to endure. You evoked the emotions very vividly.

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  32. What beautiful gifts to give and receive. Your imagery is striking Grace. This takes me back to my mom's last days. It was good to read in your comment that your parents are both doing well now.

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  33. This is beautiful Grace. Made me think of my Mom on her deathbed. How I feared for her, but she was so ready, so graceful. Thank you for this.

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  34. what lovely poem Grace, just lovely hard and lovely!xx

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  35. This is so very touching. Beautifully written.

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  36. It was a sacred moment - sad and scary, yet there is something beautiful there. If I may say so, it might even qualify as an unexpected gift just as you described in your pub post. You captured the emotions and the moment well. I am glad your mom is doing well. :-)

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  37. This reminds me of being with my brother when and in the days before he died. It was a mix of grace and holiness with trauma. In the end it made me a better person.

    A well done write.

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  38. This is superb, absolutely. You have taken one of life's hard moments and spun it into a moment of strength. Brava!

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  39. Sounds like she knew what was to come after. No need to feel fear of darkness when you trust in the God who said, "Let there be light!"

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  40. Beautiful Grace...the "I" sentences are stunning.
    Peace.

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  41. It is such a relief that your beloved Mom maintained the tenacity as expected of all Moms. Moms are strong people. Very poignant in the beginning but a great write, Grace!

    Hank

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  42. this is a deeply touching poem. beautifully put. and perfect image for it too.

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  43. It certainly is and it is strength to see someone face death this way as life...
    and i am so glad your mom is doing well..2 years after with strength continuing..
    for life..:)

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  44. Beautifully written...fragile hearts can still be very loving hearts. I envy that you have such love told between glances at this stage in your lives. I'm estranged and had a different kind of grieving.

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  45. we wrote of similar things Grace - this is outstanding.

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  46. Oh wow, I'm so glad she survived. Well told, so emotional, so vivid. LOVE the butterflies. Thanks for sharing something so intimate with us.

    Tina @ Life is Good

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  47. A strong and poignant piece!Excellent writing:-)

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  48. A truly stunning, deeply moving, piece of work.

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  49. Oh my God...you had me on the edge of my seat and in tears. I am so grateful that she survived.

    This poem is one of the most moving that I have read in a long time, Grace...stunning, without an unneeded word. Goes straight to the heart. What a talent you have, and how full of intelligence and love. This poem is exceptional.

    Love, Jane

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  50. The tears were flowing down my cheeks as I read this. No matter how old we get, seems like we still rely on our parents for their love! The gifts you exchanged were priceless.

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  51. Deeply touching and heartfelt words there for me Grace - I love how you connect towards the end, reminded me of all the suffering of old age I have seen closely in the family. Makes sad - but still makes me complete in another way.

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  52. It is a precious thing, this life, and so worth holding on to. What a powerful piece you shared here. Thank you!

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