Grief Illness Mothers Poetry

Final Days

Passing through the doorway

Once more
I see her face blank
In drug induced pain relief
She stares out the window
Her moans a mantra of sorts

Pausing before reaching the bed
Now shocked more than grief ridden
Alice descends
Slipping ever more rapidly
Down the rabbit hole
A week becoming a month

Wrangling tears
“Hi Mom…I’m here”
Kissing her check
Our now standard greeting
Seeing her lips caked together
I touch a wet sponge to her mouth
The death bed’s childhood sucker

Dabbing balm ever so gently
Her lips part
A sigh of relief
As a three syllable moan
Becomes the echo of the day
“I love you”
And our secret language is born

Dragging a chair to her bedside
I take her hand
So dry and wrinkled
Never like this before
Changed in only one week
Taking lotion
Massaging her hands
She moans
Gentle, soft, approving relief
More words for this language of two

Laying my head next to hers
We both nap
Snuggling into a time
When sharing a bed
Cuddled into a ball as one
Where no demons could touch us
And everything fit
And time suspended it’s grip

Illness More Stuff Mothers Poetry Spirituality Women Writing

Sitting Shiva

Yesterday good

Today tough

Friends stop by

Burns her out

Telling them

Keep it short

Best friend here



Having fun

I’m beat

Can’t sleep

Emotional wreck

Home Monday

Cross fingers

Till then

We reminice

Telling stories

Time together

Time apart

Letting go

Loving so

What a lot of work





Eating like crap

Major cleanse time



Illness Mothers Poetry Spirituality Women Writing

Whispering in the Moonlight

Whispering in the Moonlight

Frozen in time

She stands in the doorway

Waiting, wondering

Unable to contain her need

Calling out “Hi Mom…”

Her Mother’s eyes slit open


Even knowing the truth

Of time’s unending march

A breath of relief passes through her

Dropping winter’s gear at the door

She slips past the bedroom’s threshold

A metaphor too perfect, too strange


Feeling the inevitable parting

Tears well

She kisses her Mother’s cheek

The taste of crusted salt on her skin

Becomes the alchemy

The air thickens with heaven’s call

As memories of childhood play


Sobbing into Mother’s bosom

A rocking chair’s consoling rhythm

Becomes the medicine for a broken heart

Stomping through puddles

In brand new rain boots

That play with a thunderstorm’s magic

Imparting instruction in dinnertime etiquette

As the whitest linens and shiniest silver

Insure Great Grandma’s visit a success


Memories explode

Washing clean all attachment

And she wonders

Are they sharing the same?

Looking into her Mother’s eyes

An emerging smile widens


Filled with joy

Filled with the heart’s sweetness

She touches her cheek


Witnessing a face wiped clean of remorse

The heart opens even more deeply


Crawling ever so gently

Onto the very edge of her bed

A precipice opens

She snuggles

Ever so cautiously


By her Mother’s side


And the two spoon

Raptured in the gleam

While the room darkens into night

As Mother and Daughter

Whisper in the moonlight


Illness Mothers Poetry Spirituality Women Writing

Fond Memories

Touching midnight
They wheel her through the door
Sleeping deep
Skin ashen
Breath shallow
The veil so thin as to touch
The other side

Dizzy with fresh rememberings
Once, twice, ten times daily calls
Filled with fitful non-sense
Then overflowing
“I love you forever
Always have and always will”

Just one more week
Just one more day of fond memories

Her eyes open
Smiling gently
I kiss her forehead
The scent of childhood fills the room
I breath in the sweetness, the joy, the pleasure

Fatigue of drug induced freedom
She closes her eyes
Machines drone their rhythmic mantra
Her war torn heart filled with determination
To stay alive

Just one more week
Just one more day of fond memories

Holding back tears
As pure love streams forth
No longer burdened with the past
Sorrow spills
As these tender moments
Slip through a lifetime
Filled with remorse
Now filled with nothing but love

“This is the best day of my entire life”
She holds her hands tight
So as not to reveal the pain
” The best day of my life”

Just one more week
Just one more day of fond memories

Running my fingers through her soft curls
Sprinkled with grey
Wondering will mine be the same
The veil thickens

Rebuilding her strength
Days pass quickly
She rallies once again
Her devotion firm
Her love unrequited
She fills my heart with safety
My world with joy

Yesterdays slip into understanding
Understanding into respite
Respite into peace
Peace into pleasure
Pleasure into love…

Just one more week
Just one more day of fond memories


Illness Mothers Poetry Spirituality Women Writing



Each time the phone rings

Each “612” area code

Sends panic down my spine

White knuckles my constant way

Burning me cold as ice


Tending to life

My world

In my prime

Ripe with possibilities

The phone rings through

My hands slippery as Minnesota black ice


Wrestling to pick up before voicemail

Hands shaking

Fumbling, rumbling, thick with anticipation

The call I’ve been dreading

Not yet, not now


Relief coursing through to the bone

We connect

Unable to articulate her feelings

She sticks to yes’ and no’s

As twenty questions ensue


My voice calm as a patient Mother

One she never was

Or could ever be

Her voice wracked with frustration

Unable to express her need


My right arm tremoring with fear

Holding the voice steady yet the body

Expressing the truth I am unable to allow

Me struggling to understand her need

She attempting to understand herself


Twenty questions adding a half hour plus

Pauses ripe with meaning

We shared more through the silence

Then when misunderstood words filled our lives

A Mother and Daughter at odds

Now simply filled with love


Our hearts creating clarity of understanding

No past allowed interference

Simply the mind searching for the words

And as the heart opened to receive

We found our way to mutual need


Union without bounds

Words without definitions

Sharing without requirements

Joy without expectations

Hearts without walls





Illness Mothers Poetry Spirituality Writing

Ambrosia for Her Soul

She breathes in the fantasies

Living through adventures born

From her daughter’s world


Holding tight desperately seeking

A life she would never know

She waits by the phone

Silence filling the air

Having waited too long

She turns away

Then all at once

The ring


Tentatively answering

Her heart races hearing

That oh so familiar voice

The salve for her soul

“Hello Mom…how are you?”

Barely able to contain herself



Chattering on

A good five minutes or so

The daughter’s mundane tasks

Feed her full of newly born memories

Inserting herself as daughter

She returns to the fantasies

Reviewing, remembering

Her world still intact

Her only child feeding her life


Caught in a circle of questions

Once, twice, three times answered

A merry-go-round of words

Fills the void

The silent unknowns


“And how are those doggies?”

The always answer of “They are great”

Followed by a laundry list of wagging tails

And guard dog barking

Seems to serve her thirst for conversation

She laughs then

“Oh how I wish I could be there”



A wellspring of sorrow harkens

The daily moment when heartbreak beckons


“Oh how I wish I could be there”

But knowing the truth

This cannot be

The subject changes to weather

And the circle of questions

Begins again


Filling her days

Ambrosia for her soul


Illness Mothers Poetry Spirituality Women Writing


Sitting silently waiting

Disinfectant fills the air
A cave incrusted
With antiseptic walls
Waits for the moment
When fear subsides
Between heartbeats
The constant sound
Of hopeless wonder
Sends a paul of light
Infusing this artificial womb
The veil thins
The breath remains steady

A gentle snore
Not Now
Not Yet
Closing a door
Opening a window
While in the same moment clinging
Just one more day
Nothing seems important anymore
Nothing but this moment
And the embrace
As the breath remains steady
Yet shallow

Illness Mothers Poetry Spirituality Women

For Leela

You were my touchstone

My cherished friend
Every moment with you a blessing
Every conversation a learning
Knowing you was knowing myself
And knowing myself was knowing Ma

I watched you leave
Waiting for the light to capture me as well

We were lovers of a different kind
Sisters deep
We sat in turmoil
Sat in worship
Sat in joy
Sat in love
We whispered in the dark
Sharing secrets

Every connection a treasure
Every touch a blessing
I miss you dearly
Sweet Sister
We never had the chance to say good-bye

Every evening I pray for my dreams to call you
Hoping beyond hope you will appear
And I will awaken the following day satiated
Our intimate connection still running deep

How do I circle the sun without you?
You were that connection that helped me believe
You were that connection that helped me know
You helped me touch love
Touch tenderness
Touch life
You helped me know who I am

I wait for you to call again
Just one more time

I remain behind in silent practice

Illness Mothers Poetry Spirituality Women Writing

Blank Landscape

i wait in the fire for your arrival

staunch, clear and full of grace

you whispered in my ear your yearnings

and i floated up into the sky

each breath, each sigh a relief

a  gaze into eternity


i wrestled the waves until i was blind

diving deep below the ocean

below the ring of fire

below all dense matter

i wrestled with myself and you came to me



through the ether

tender and true


lurching for affection i tripped

landing on all fours

and although a baby in my own arms

you never once looked to shame


and now i am alone

searching, seeking anonymity

yet they come relentless and sure

without any humility of reticence

their time has come and  i seek forgiveness

simply because my downfall will be unnoticed