If I Can Stop One Heart From Dying & I Almost Feel Like An Angel

The snot in the nose trembles, spit drools
that I clean till the skin fragile tender like a child’s
turns pink with rash. I hear rumbles in the throat
words forming through spittle, thoughts choking
as muscles atrophy and fail to carry the sound.

A box of circuits and wires, manipulate one
I know what will move next. Feed trickles through food pipe,
swells the bowel with air and waste which I work next at evacuating.
Fix the wire and help the circuit flow: that’s what life is about,
every time I figure this out it takes effort not to feel like God.


I Almost Feel Like An Angel

Sitting besides you has done this to me,
know that when I touch you you’ll open your eyes,
when I stand at the window a butterfly stops by,
clouds gather to rain on my parched tree.
Shit I say and you shit, cough I say and you cough:
mucus from your body I gather like soft flowers.

(These two poems, my entries for Day 6 and Day 7 of ‘New To You’ at the Big Tent Poetry, are inspired by Emily Dickinson’s ‘If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking’ and ‘Hope Is The Thing With Feathers’ respectively. It has been a difficult week for my family as my 90 year old father-in-law suffering from PD is very ill. Four of my seven poems reflect this. Between sleepless nights of vigil and care giving, hours of cooking for the large extended family that has gathered to give us strength, I am glad I found some time to write these poems. But I have not had time to read all those wonderful poems that my friends have been writing at the Big Tent.  )

Day 6 & Day 7 ‘New To You’ Big Tent Poetry


4 thoughts on “If I Can Stop One Heart From Dying & I Almost Feel Like An Angel

  1. Uma, it was so hard when my mother was dying. These are beautiful poems and I’m glad you were able to find the time and emotional space to write them. What you’re doing takes so much strength. Sending you and your family by heartfelt wishes for this difficult journey.

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