Sickness Poem

Poem: A man is lying on his deathbed communication with his eyes all the important things that need to be said. How lucky there was someone to hear him.

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The Deafening Silent Goodbye

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Published: February 2006



The Deafening Silent Goodbye

He lay there, small, fading away,
waking intermittently
to communicate the end of what was.

Mute, paralyzed with hot tears, I simply squeezed his hand
as those familiar eyes intently gazing at me spoke fast-forward volumes
of his immeasurable losses
loneliness, regret,
sorrow, hunger, helplessness
illness, frustration, estrangement,
and pain-
pain so profound, it burned my eyes to see its reflected memory

Though already beyond the hideous battle
he'd let it have its way,
he didn't want to cease to be.
He'd suffered the disdain of polite society, being an affront to yuppie values and
a reminder of all we don't want anyone to be.
A person who mattered not

I saw it all in his wordless messages.
The 'unknowing from those I loved',
the complex, multi-layered 'had to have been there',the 'walk a few thousand miles in my shoes', the 'I did what I could at the time', the 'I don't want to die unfulfilled', the 'please help me to be remembered for who I am' looks

My brother, my flesh,
my loyal, scarred, faulted, fragile friend
who disappointed me
and whom I disappointed
You mattered'.you stay with me
and all your sorrows are mine.
For it's not right to erase a part of a whole.
You are me'us,
the left behind,
those who need to change the future


Judy 6/2004

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