The darkened room, in claustrophobic corner,
Holds me entranced, and yet detached, in silent gaze,
Drifting off I float to by-gone times of laughter
Shaking off this antiseptic bedside hospice-haze.
Ah how the craic was mighty then,
Lived on the edge, my friend, like we were meant to,
With scarce a thought of life or limb, or of tomorrow,
We schemed a scheme or two of devilment a plenty.
This all-to-often journey lined with many sorrows tear,
Soon to follow to the all-consuming grave,
So eats the parasitic cancer here,
From which the months of devastating treatment cannot save.
Life ebbs and flows,
Breathing slows the movement up and down,
And I remember my stupidity back then,
You were right, and I the stubborn clown.
If I could take it back, my words in haste once thrown,
Or turn it into some prevailing good,
God knows I’d wave the wand to set it right again,
God knows, I surely would.
This surreptitious creeping hellish growth robs strong of life,
And family, and hope, and introspective friends,
And only when the last breath goes the way of exhalation,
Pain and suffering ends.
I have no fine words to say,
For in saying that, I’ve said it all before,
Nothing I can do makes any kind of sense,
And nothing is the only thing that I can bring, and more.
He lies there, skin and bones, sucked in and gaunt,
I can hardly bare to move my eyes to look,
Once in frame so strong and full of agile spring of youth,
That this bastard son of killing illness took.
You know, we talked of this day coming
Him and I, we knew it surely would,
Though it makes the pain no easier to bear
Nor lifts my sombre mood.
I greet his wife, his sons, his daughters
And treat them like they are my own,
Theirs the knife-edge sharp and searing loss
It cuts them deep, through flesh of love’s embrace, to bone.
And then, in mocking glance death claims him,
But here the end, in mercy, wraps from head to toe,
Like winters cloak, and so departed he
To Heaven’s gate does go. I know.
And so I cannot help but ponder
On the shortened days that we pursue in pleasure,
Our hedonistic rush to gratify our lust,
To justify ourselves in haste, or to repent at leisure,
Of deed and actions outcome,
To contemplate the impact of our each and every story,
To give, to love, to all-forgive, to see it through,
And in so doing, thus complete our ever-fleeting glory.