As I sit by my mother’s bedside, stewing about whether hospice care is a great mercy or an unnecessarily lengthy ordeal for both patient and family, I don’t feel capable of writing a blog post. Hospice definitely makes for a long goodbye.
Thankfully, my friend Barbara deMichele presented me with a poem she had just written and has agreed to let me publish it here.
Glancing Thoughts While Waiting For An Injection
I’ve become a holder of newborns
A Grammy. Great Aunt.
Unable to move, no control over their necks
Or backs, or arms, or legs
They lay their heads in the crook of my arm
Unfocused eyes darting and landing and darting again
They warm my breast, the feel of their fine round skulls
Beneath the feathery hair.
“Horrible,” my doctor says. “Horrible arthritis.”
Horrible. Horrible, horrible. Horrid.
Already the titanium knees,
the vague complaints in my hips,
the damned calloused sole.
And now this wrist, crumbling from the inside out.
The doctor readies the steroid injection, taps the syringe
And all I can see are those dear sweet eyes
Open for the first time, already wondering.
And when my time comes, body turned back beyond my control
Where will I lay my head?
And who will hold me?