My Mother, going

death poem

My Mother, going

Her last room, rest home room.

hot, stuffy,

thickish god can ordinary people please leave here right now stuffy

neat white and black wee Philipine grown nurses kept

their focused blackbird wittering around her, they didn't seem to mind

anything

just kept on smoothing her all out with cool brown hands and morphine

smoothing, new tissues, new sheets

clean sheets to write another chapter on

with no words I sat with my old Shakespeare book

she gurgled, sweating, her old shoulders struggled hard

all down that afternoon

light outside had not quite congealed into evening when gasping clicked

unbidden

to elegant quick puffs

She opened her eyes up, they were like fish eyes in the shop

"are your there?" - knowing she wasn't - then

one last light soft:

"done my bit and now I'm finished"

breath

reworked the reused resthome air before me

and she was.

Don Franks

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