Bridge, Badly Played

Is that really the card
you want to play? 
Is it just sadness
that brings out the worst
or are you, deep down,
always this way?
Does bereavement entitle
the bereaved to be thoughtless?
Does your pain trump
and take the day? 

You win.
I guess this
just isn’t my game.


Written for One Shot Wednesday.



When is it over?
When are we done?
When have our lives
Finished their run?

A stroke of his scythe
Took half of her brain,
And left organs failing
In a cascading chain.

Though unconscious, she lingered,
Her breath fed by machine,
In a place neither here nor there
But somewhere between.

When she was younger
And could still speak her mind
She said, “When my time comes,
Please let me die. That would be kind.”

But now the end is near and
Her old body is ready to go.
It’s so hard for them to say goodbye,
And accept what they know.

Because she loved them,
There was nothing they lacked.
Because they love her,
It’s time to give back.

The machines and tubes are gone now.
The lights are dimmed and she’s resting in peace.
They sit by her side and watch her last breaths.
“We love you, Mom.  Thank you.  Godspeed.”

As I write this, my husband and his sisters are sitting with their 94-year-old mother as she dies. She often said that the one thing she feared the most was to have a stroke that would destroy her brain, leaving her to linger trapped in a useless body.  She had watched her mother-in-law’s life end that way, and she asked her children not to let that happen to her.

Yesterday morning (Saturday), she had a massive stroke that destroyed the right side of her brain. Medical science can keep her alive, but it can never give her back what she has lost. Were she to live, she would be paralyzed on the left side and blind in the left eye, which is the only eye with any vision left.  She would probably be unable to speak and be understood. And she would never again be able to appreciate music, which was one of the few pleasures she had left. 

As hard as it is for her children to honor her wishes, they love her, and so they have.  Tonight, the respirator and all the tubes were removed.  Without them, her breath will likely slow, and then end in a few days. She will be kept comfortable, and allowed to go peacefully, her family at her side.

Godspeed, Mary.

Update:  She died Wednesday night, slipping away peacefully with her family around her.


Written for One Shot Wednesday.


One Night Stand


At her door, Jack Frost wrapped himself around her,
Thrilling her with his chill breath upon her neck,
Running frigid fingers up and down her spine, and
Playing cool jazz on her ribcage as if it were a xylophone.

It didn’t occur to her to ask him in for a nightcap,
But the moment she’d opened the door a crack
His pushed it wide and rushed in past her,
Entering into her home like he lived there.

She’d always had a weakness for bad boys.
You know the mild, gentle ones whose delicate touch,
Barely there, tracing softly with warmth
you barely noticed?  They simply bored her.

Oh, but this one was very bad indeed.  No gentle
Touch or warm caress.  There was little doubt
About his hunger, his need, his drive to devour,
Like a starving polar bear who hasn’t eaten in days.

He howled and whirled like a dervish, spinning
And swirling and piercing her skin with his icy touch,   
And then blew through, as his type always do,
Leaving her shivering and ready for a hot shower.

Written for One Shot Wednesday.