Poem 23 exists as a therapeutic exercise. Thank you to JEB, up in NH. Your suggested phrase helped me to revisit some emotion.
“The End is Near Sometimes”
Sometimes on Summer Sundays,
people pass out of this world.
Elemental souls leaving behind dead meat.
Honorable hardworking hearts,
hiccup and then stop.
There is a specific room in the emergency wards of most hospitals.
A grief room.
The horror show.
Some call it the suffer buffer.
An administrative attempt at compassion.
It is preferred that you “act out” in there.
We don’t want the others to think someone is dying nearby.
Only sanitized grief is allowed.
Dignity displayed in disposable units.
Shuffled inside, while they cobble their strategy.
The content is similar,
the names are changed.
Tissue boxes that don’t look like they hold hardly enough.
The door opens.
The chaos dizzies.
When you arrive at the spot that you are designated to stand,
gravity holds you there.
So many things to see.
Yes, this is it.
It is no longer an abstract.
The moment is upon us.
Hope, has left the room.
Tears well up.
The point of no return has come.
The attending physician somehow gets your attention.
Her eyes are full of two things:
Professional compassion and the consequence of truth.
Eyes still locked.
The decision has been made.
Acceptance of that truth stings for a moment.
Then a desperate attempt to salvage the seconds left.
The chaos falls away.
The people go out of focus.
The only thing left in the room,
a vessel that contained love.
The transfer is complete.
The eyes, always the eyes.
Expressive eyes at one time,
need a gentle palm to close the lids.
Fingertips insuring that rest is obtained.
The end is near sometimes,
and then it is right on top of us.