You watch her die. Her laughter
And conversing done with, put
Aside in memory’s drawer. Now
Just the death rattle talks, the
Slow breathing of ins and out,
The eyes shut tight, to ban all light.
Someone has brushed her grey hair,
Made her look presentable for
Death’s shade. You stand next
To the matron who mutters facts
Of dying and what it’s like from
Her learned perspective. You
Stare and study the face and
Closed lids and body wrapped
Tight in covers, hands out of sight.
I worked at mill all my life, you
Recall her saying, from young lass
Until they cast me out at old age.
The yellow curtains are drawn shut
Across the window, dimming the
Sight and room, adding sense of
Death’s coming and heavy gloom.
Her breathing halts midstream.
Her mouth is open as if she’d a
Last word to say, but death took
Her breath away. Now she is still
And silent. In death’s arms she lay.