Midwife to the Dying
“Watch with me, please stay.”
Her raspy whisper rouses me from an impending 3 AM stupor. I take her outstretched hand, cold and gnarly. The veins read like a roadmap, the radial pulse thunking in violent resistance to death.
“I’m here.” I squeeze her hand a bit tighter, dampen a small sponge “lollipop” and moisten her cracked lips and tongue. The hissing of oxygen, a gurgling humidifier and her labored breathing play the dirge of dying.
A glow, cast by a small night light, throws the shadow of her struggling profile on the blank wall. “I’m right here,” I say again, as I witness for the umpteenth time the drama of letting go, wondering the while how many others are enacting this final scene of their lives at this moment. Alone.
Watching the dying,
sacred moment of birthing
to another life.
I ask myself once more: “Will someone watch with me?”
Today, at dVerse Poetics, we are honored to welcome our guest host, Lynn, who bids us to consider the title of Harper Lee’s new title, “Go Set a Watchman,” a title based on a verse from Isaiah. I went with a memoir-like haibun.