Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saying Goodbye Again

Posted for Robin Smith (@artistrobin)
as an entry for @dversepoets Poetics night

I sit on the front porch in the chair she liked,
the winter sun warm on my face and her wind chime
talks to me until her call.
Cows she came to know graze
The fence line eavesdropping.  
The daughters say she won't recover enough to go to hospice.
They hold the phone for her because she insists.
Her voice is full of pain. I ask if she's getting enough medication,
She says: No but I want to stay awake.
We touch on her grandchildren I know she's worried that
her death is the only thing they'll remember, I tell her it won't be.
Then she says: I love you dolly, I'm going
to go eat lemon pie and chocolate now.
Both of her favorites when she lived with me.
I answer: That sounds really nice. And it does.
She says: I don't care if I get sick and die today.
I say: If you do, know I love you.
She doesn't answer right away and I hear the hitch
in her voice that means she's crying too.
We've said goodbye a hundred times in twenty years of cancer.
Maybe I'll talk to you later, she says softly.
I say: Okay if not today then sometime.
She says: Yes and bring chocolate.

(c) copyright 2012 Robin Smith. All rights reserved.


  1. wow...deeply moved by this charles... there's a tender and deep connection-- love all the details with the lemon pie and chocolate-- comfort in the face of sickness..and since 20 years..this is so hard.. saying goodbye is never easy and i think we never ever get used to it.. thanks for hosting poetics today.... a fantastic prompt...

  2. man...whata story...i am tearing up over here...sheesh...dang it...smiles...a hard place man...saying good bye again and again it does not get easier either...thank goodness for chocolate and lemon pie...

  3. Oh my gosh, this brought tears to my eyes... a wonderful and very touching poem, Charles. Twenty years of cancer... she's a fighter, that's for sure.

    1. Hi Laurie, I will pass on your wonderful comments to my friend Robin Smith, who wrote the poem.

  4. I teared up too...this is a beautiful story of goodbye and love unending...the touch of her favorite food brought a smile ~ lovely share ~

  5. Wow, thanks a lot for making me cry! Or get teary at least. :) This started out so lighthearted and natural, conversational. But where you took me was way too familiar; this season of life (and death) is heartbreaking as we watch our parents decline and have to think about saying goodbye much sooner than we'd like.

  6. Well, you've got us all weeping - or rather Robin does - certainly the mark of a good poem. Such profoundly intimate details make life and death such authentic experiences shared ... thanks so much.

  7. Beautiful ...touching and so sad ...thank you for sharing x

  8. A very moving and sad series of moments captured in a serene and beautiful setting. The friction between sadness and beauty highlights a refined reaction in me. Thank u 4 sharing.