Nighthawks

tonight her breathing’s more shallow. i try to find her favorite songs. search quickly on my iPad. “mack the knife ” by Bobby; replays of Vera’s, “we’ll meet again.” but mostly i just talk and she listens. eyes glued shut in coma-land..well past morning i kiss her rice-paper face. stroke her white hair. a voice is crying, calling mama, mama. a word back from dead. executed in the land of assimilation. just after noon mama curls in fetal position. i keep watch: rise and fall of out-of-breath beats. too soon it comes. ebb tide.

 

autumn coolness
enters a hand
long held in mine


33 Responses

  1. Kala Ramesh Says:

    Most poignant, Roberta.
    _kala

  2. Alan Summers Says:

    Very moving.

    warmest regards, and condolences,

    Alan

  3. Dianne Says:

    well written. Such difficult circumstances; I'm glad the protagonist of the poem could be at that place and time. Sending thoughts of good tea and warmth ….

  4. rdhartwell Says:

    Wow!
    expresses excitement of
    written words in the here and now

    Dawn
    memories each day after
    bring only sighs for those now gone

  5. marjorie buettner Says:

    This is a deeply heart-felt haibun during a difficult time for you . . .

  6. Jenny Angyal Says:

    Very beautiful & moving, Roberta. Reminds me so much of my own mother's death. My deepest sympathy to you.

  7. harrisfr Says:

    A few days ago, a dear old friend called to tell me his throat cancer that was thought to be under control had actually returned and moved on to his lungs and liver. He told me he has maybe six months of life remaining. So this poem speaks to my own desperation relative to his sickness. All of our lives, we have shared moments and thoughts and feelings. It is so hard for me to believe that he will leave ahead me. And the fact that he is an extraordinary human soul seems to make it so much harder. I consider this poem an on-time gift. Thank you so very much.

  8. Bob Lucky Says:

    I'll echo Alan Summers' comments and those of several others about how moving this is. Anyone who's had to deal with people, especially parents and children, who are no longer here but not yet gone, can feel this. And now they're gone but still here somehow…

    Condolences.

  9. harrisfr Says:

    Yes, I think people are still with us because they are a part of us. I don't think this ever changes, even after they die. Love remains. Memories are heart-felt. These are gifts that I don't really discuss, yet they are certainly real. I count myself lucky to have them.

  10. Marie Shimane Says:

    So beautifully personal for so many.

  11. Ron Moss Says:

    Stunning writing Roberta… so keenly felt and written we can't help but be transported to that time and place with you and to feel your pain… Ron

  12. sanjuktaa Says:

    This is a scene I've lived. I know this pain like many others here do.Would like to say so many things, but…can I just say "sorry" and beautifully written!

  13. polona Says:

    having recently had a similar experience, this hits close to home. a strong and moving write.

  14. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    Very poignant indeed, Roberta.

  15. robertabeary Says:

    thank you for each thoughtful comment, means a lot to me. thanks also to tinywords.com for publishing Nighthawks. to all this holiday season: keep writing and keep moving forward!

  16. Peter Newton Says:

    here here . . . to moving forward. Thank you Roberta. Peace to you and yours.

  17. snakypoet Says:

    A wonderful piece of writing. A little over a year ago I sat by my husband's bedside as he died. In 1997 I sat by my own mother's. So it speaks profoundly to me too.

  18. haikuapprentice Says:

    Ah Roberta, thank you for sharing this. From such sadness you have crafted a genuine epitaph – a living shrine. To read this poignant haibun is to share indeed with the loss, but also to share the genuine love. Out of the melancholy sabi which is so delicately captured and shared with us, there is nevertheless a sense of living-on. The spirit of that beloved one will live forever, called up even for strangers, who as they are touched by this work, feel compelled to pay sincere respects.

    Blessings

    Strider

  19. Yepi 2 Says:

    Indeed, the ups and downs of life are staggering. Can not know in advance. So you should enjoy and not fought

  20. robertabeary Says:

    one year since I wrote this. one year since my mom died. thank you all for your comments. this haibun will appear in my book Deflection which I wrote as part of my grieving process (Accents Publishing, March 2015)

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  24. happy wheels Says:

    When I read your words, I feel sad… I need to show my love to my parents more and more. Thanks for your post

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