Rebirth


Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

Rebirth

The Scene
Wet grass beneath my body,
piles of leaves gathered nearby,
scents of mold and dried lavender,
apples hanging heavy the tree,
spirits peering through rusty leaves
divining secrets from my past
and present, cradled deep within.

The Character
My stories are mine—
clues hidden beneath the layers
of a serene façade,
exiled from those
who would know my truth.

The Plot
I claw at the bark of the ash tree,
pain racking my used-up body,
then swallow the last three pills.
No rash decision, this.

The End
I chose early autumn last November—
autumn as the season
of dying, of beauty, of letting go,
like seeds entombed in dank soil
waiting to be born again.

This is fictional. I personally do not believe in euthanasia, though I cannot judge other. One point I want to make is that hospice care, focused on symptom management, is an option for pain management. If anyone has questions about hospice, I will be happy to answer them if I can. Just leave them in comments or send me an e-mail.

I wrote this using the words offered by Brenda a The Sunday Whirl and am linking it to dVerse Open Link Night which opens Tuesday, 3:00 PM, EDT. Please join us at either or both of these poetry venues.

By the way, I accidentally posted my draft for this week’s Meeting the Bar. It will be re-posted on Thursday. Sorry about that, but if you received it in e-mail, consider it a heads-up.

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41 thoughts on “Rebirth

  1. Jamie Dedes says:

    Tastfully done.

    We’ve had classes on hospice. I have fllt much better learning about palative care and where it’s availabe, under what circumstances. Nonetheless, contrary to my upbringing, I think people should be able to make their own decisions on this.

    Like

  2. A very interesting way to present your thoughts. As for the euthanasia theme…I believe in it. Sometime the pain of living is so burdensome that death is a fine alternative. But I am not afraid of death. I see it as a resting and renewal place between lives.

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  3. Yeah..Euthanasia is such a tough issue..as we can never really fully understand another person’s pain or sorrow..

    If it was legal i would not be hear/here now..

    It’s hard to say..sometimes..what the future may bring when the lowest and weakest of lows are met..

    The atypical trigeminal neuralgia that lasted for waking to sleeping for over 60 months was hell..but was only was only preceding a very long wave of bliss for me…

    Life is worth the wait…most of the time..i think…

    But I will never be worthy to judge another person’s pain or sorrow..and the effect of whatever choices they make in life..

    AS it seems you experience the similar2

    Like

  4. Pamela says:

    Wow, Victoria, just wow! And thanks.

    Pamela

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  5. ManicDdaily says:

    These are such difficult decisions. Hard to formulate as policy–terrible if people are in pain. The decisions about the level of painkillers can be themselves a huge issue. Thanks for your poem on a difficult subject. k.

    Like

  6. A very sensitive treatment of this subject, which is obviously so emotive. Having had to address these issues very recently, I was relieved to read this without feeling pain. Instead, it was comforting.

    Like

  7. vbholmes says:

    A difficult subject sensitively presented. The last stanza is lovely. Well done.

    Like

  8. Mark Spruill says:

    Victoria,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. It prompted me to check out yours, and I am so glad I did. Your use of Brenda’s “Whirl” words is masterful. I was also very much inspired by your post on gratitude. I am grateful today, that I found your blog.

    Like

  9. Jenny Herner says:

    I love this, especially “seeds entombed in dank soil
    waiting to be born again”. Lovely!

    Like

  10. Jenny Herner says:

    I loved this, especially “seeds entombed in dank soil
    waiting to be born again”. Lovely!

    Like

  11. When I die, sweet Victoria, I hope to do it with such poetic valor…. My conclusion is that death is not a sadness, but a release. And I keep faith that God has instilled within each of us the ability to know that we are ready for it, whether it be a child of 6 or 7 dying of lukemia, a suffering octegenarian, or a young parent only just beginning life – snuffed by accident. There is within the wise a sure knowledge that this world is fleeting and only temporary and that soon we will all be holding hands and sharing that part of ourselves that is heavenly. Amazing you can do that so well while still here…..! Good poem poet……

    Like

  12. adamsmurphy says:

    The ending – last verse, i read it and re-read! Hoping for the Rebirth…

    Like

  13. accepting, choosing, when to let go, yes, such a personal decision, and so beautifully flowingly told here victoria; gorgeous image too, wish we had some of that here in texas, but memories from vermont are nice 🙂

    Like

  14. a brave write – for another’s plight – the sections gave impact the line
    I chose early autumn last November—
    a place where they chose – a time when they wished. This is what I feel euthanasia is about. The right to end when we feel it is time, not when others do. Provoking – melancholy and powerful Victoria.

    Like

  15. Your poem addresses an important issue facing society at the moment.
    I watched a program just recently of this subject.Switzerland has legal euthanasia . I think if old people were treated with more kindness and respect there would be a lesser need to consider euthanasia. But that is never going to happen.

    Like

  16. Patricia says:

    I’ve never seen a piece set apart quite like this.
    I chose early autumn last November… such a poignant line.
    From one hospice person to another, I know we understand how those who are suffering can come to this. You’ve written this so well.

    Like

  17. The first stanza is so sensual. The rest, a surprising twist

    Like

  18. Jeep Walters says:

    A powerful piece, Victoria. Thank you!

    Like

  19. Truedesa says:

    This was touching as autumn the season..I had a couple of relatives in hospice..they chose no life support efforts be made. It’s hard on the family though as we visited each day..waiting for death to bring rebirth for our loved one.

    Like

  20. shanyns says:

    Powerful piece here Victoria. Thank you for sharing it, and for the post-script as well.

    Like

  21. ayala says:

    An important topic..and I believe that if we lose our dignity there is no reason to go on….Good write, Victoria.

    Like

  22. Jeff says:

    Anguish expressed, painted with a soft brush. It’s sad of course, but the reader is consoled with the beauty of its language. You can relate and those you have known who are in this place, they will find consolation in your understanding.
    Nicely written.
    Cheers!

    Like

  23. These are a heavy and ponderous experience[s] though you’ve cushioned it into logical sequences ~ I found thorny cautionary sign… You’re amazing poetess!

    Like

  24. Pat Hatt says:

    Nicely broken up and weaved. I think people should have their own choice, of course many factors at play, but in the end it is us who should decide our end.

    Like

  25. Grace says:

    I don’t have a personal experience but I respect the person’s choice to die, in this case, autumn season ~ I like the symbolic meaning of letting go and then waiting for rebirth ~

    Like

  26. Ruth says:

    I like the way story elements are set and the story revealed like a summation, point by point… I’m reminded of my sister, who chose to end her life – it was autumn too, and I’ve always thought: if only she had waited one more day, perhaps she would’ve seen things differently.

    Like

  27. janehewey says:

    I really enjoy your presentation here, Victoria. The first stanza is especially potent as you paint the scene. thank you for the good work you do!

    Like

  28. Glenn Buttkus says:

    As a hospice expert, you must be, surely are aware of the wonders of death as a doorway, a transition, a continuum & yes a rebirth. Old souls already know this, and others in lesson are figuring it out; love your four stanza delivery, like the 4 seasons, 4 horsemen. At 69 myself, I have been close to death with my medical issues, and the kiss of the dragon wrenched me back amongst it. Great job, thanks.

    Like

  29. beautiful Victoria, sad, and beautiful.

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  30. Victoria.. this was a very touching and brave poem. I believe in the free choice of this.. and of course you should be able to choose your place you love like in the poem… to have anyone helping you and thus taking part of the responsibility is the tought question for me… very important poetry..

    Like

  31. adameverhard says:

    I didn’t believe in euthanasia until I watched my uncle suffer horribly at the end of his life. I was very grateful for hospice. I reconsidered my position on euthanasia because I came to see that if someone is suffering the way he was, they should have the option to choose a peaceful exit.
    It’s my understanding that in Holland, two doctors need to approve before a person is granted an assisted suicide. They don’t take it lightly.
    As for your writing, it was beautifully done. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Like

  32. Beautifully penned, Victoria. You evoke a strong scene in your initial stanza. I can smell the fecundity. The ending described is peaceful. Thank you for mentioning hospice care.

    Like

  33. This is a brave poem, beautifully written. They don’t have hospices here, more’s the pity. It was a long search to find a private hospital willing to take a friend when she needed it. Afterwards we got in touch with the oncologist to get things moving towards a system of palliative care, and donations were made towards funding it, including a garage sale of our friend’s bits and pieces. But it’s slow progress.

    Like

  34. jmgoyder says:

    That is a huge wow.

    Like

  35. claudia says:

    i think for many people who go that step it is a long planned decision…it’s tough.. and it is remarkable that statistics say as well that most suicides happen in november… has it to do with the darkness or fall…the decaying..? interesting thought and really love how you draw us into the scene victoria..

    Like

  36. Mary says:

    Powerful writing. Victoria. I guess all of our lives are a play, some of it of our own making and some written by some master playwright. I am very familiar with hospice…they do good work. I don’t believe in euthanasia either. Life is precious to the end…..

    Like

  37. brian miller says:

    nice…i like the creative way you told this, letting the story unfold int eh surroundings…giving us just a hint of character…and then letting that play out in the decision they make…i do know one day, if i begin to decline, i may just walk out into the woods on one last adventure…selfish, maybe….but…

    Like

  38. annotating60 says:

    Victoria, this was very well done. Reminded me of Masters’ Spoon River.>KB

    Like

  39. Wow, I love this, especially how you broke it out into sections. Deeply moving.

    Like

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