Stevieslaw: New Poem—The Dying of the Light

 

 

My poem, The Dying of the Light, is in the 4th issue of the Borfski Press Magazine (print journal).  Here is the poem:

The dying of the light

We found my mother
on the third floor
of a hospital
that should have been shuttered
in the 80’s.
The lights were dim
and the walls and halls
so covered in filth
it seemed they
had absorbed the misery
of the past 30 years
and the anguish would no longer
wash away.

It wasn’t hard to find mom.
She screamed “Help me”
every couple of minutes.
We heard her from the elevator
above the endless beeping
and the garbled sounds
from the PA system.
The fact that we
were now with her
did not alleviate her need to scream.
Nor did reasoning.

She had fallen again
and broken her tailbone.
She was 95 and failing
and I was the good son—
the one who answered the call
at 2 AM,
booked the 1000 mile trips
and tried to find a place
where she could end her days
in comfort.
It was rewarding in an exhausting way.
Finding, unexpectedly,
I was the one to be counted on.

But, listen,
there is just so much
we can do for one another.
There are limits to prerogatives
of blood.
We practice love,
not magic
and when,
in a moment of lucidity
she stared at my face—
a face she had known
my whole life,
and said,
“I’m dying,”
“Save me.”
I was again
as helpless
as the infant
she had held
to her breast.

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7 Responses to Stevieslaw: New Poem—The Dying of the Light

  1. John Ziegler says:

    Steve, A wonderful poem, brimming with honesty and clarity. Love many lines, especially – we practice love, not magic. John

    Like

  2. Gallivanta says:

    Poignant, and close to home in many ways.

    Like

  3. Marcia says:

    In my family, I am the responsible one. Thank you for giving form to so many of my feelings about that sad privilege.

    Like

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