Death Scene–Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge

Death Scene

Written and linked to Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge.  This week’s challenge is CROW. The story is true. My Irish mother always claimed that the black bird was a sign of death. I used that as a theme in my novel: “The Sin of His Father.”

 

Photo: Wikipedia Commons–Labeled for Non-commercial reuse.

She only lasted four weeks from the day of her diagnosis. I spent much of that time with her–witnessed the rapid progression of her cancer, helped to manage her pain,tried to comfort my mother, her husband and children. I wallowed in a feeling of helplessness.

We watched tennis players enjoying nearby courts and a multitude of large blackbirds feeding on newly sown grass.

Life begins, life endures, life ends.

outside crows forage
black contrasts on summer green
inside, my sister’s waning

As You Lie Dying

As you lie dying,
the shadow of a palm
outside your window
peeps in, enters,
slips across the comforter,
nestles in its folds,
covers your pain.

In the distance
a couple bats tennis balls
back and forth across the net.
No strain.
An easy volley,
back and forth again.
Like our ideas,
ricocheting back and forth.
Yours, then mine.
Divergent memories.

One fact we both hold true.
The night earth shook Tehachapi,
our lives were rent.
And nothing evermore
would be the same.

Outside the window now
a murder of crows descends to feed.

Submitted to dVerse Poetics  prompt based on the wonderful photography of Tracey Grumbach. Thank you, Tracey. 

Process note: The poem is adapted from an actual experience at my sister’s death bed. The reference to the Tehachapi Earthquake relates to the night of our parents marriage (July 20, 1952) when we were children. Both of our parents had lost their first spouses to death. This was our first night together as “siblings.”