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Do Not Resuscitate
MP ( / )

Do Not Resuscitate

Saturated in morphine
breathing like a hurt animal
maybe somewhere deep down
at the bottom of the mineshaft
a little light was flickering.
We spoke to her, sometimes loudly,
We held her hand and felt its warmth
We stroked her hair.

We expected the end in hours or a day,
More morphine and more wild animal rasping
on into the morning and the next morning.
Work days are missed, meetings postponed,
return flights canceled, everyone thinking
please hurry up, and feeling guilty for it,
asking the doctor how long now, and
how could her oxygen level be going back up.

More morphine and more animal breathing.
Just as she lived her life
she would die on her own terms, by God,
and screw us and our goddam schedules.
Sitting at her bedside, I realized
that someone who could be so infuriating in life
was now infuriating us with her death.
My sister looked over and wondered
what I was laughing about

User Rating: 5,0 / 5 ( 5 votes ) 10

Comments (10)

This, Michael, is an extremely honest look at the two participants of death - the one dying and the one left behind. Having been there, I know sometimes that the only way we can cope with death is to laugh out loud! And then we feel guilty for laughing...but if we are lucky, the one dying would know - and understand. Scarlett
It's wierd experiencing someone passing. I watched my mother in law pass with quiet calm only a death rattle at the very end. I saw her younger brother pass 2 weeks ago from the same cancer screaming in pain then quietly no sound just shallow breathing at the end. Death has it's own signature.
Wow, this poem was very emotional to me and the details were on point, you kept me interested, not one boring sentence. Well done!
You made me 'remember'. Very effective. As usual - fabulous.
Good poem! The title and the mineshaft metaphor were particularly intriguing. Regards, Stephen Parnell
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