A Death Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

A Death

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The snot ran slowly, in rivulets,
coloured by staph and streptococci,
mixed in haphazard way, down
and came to rest within the coarse
and curly hairs that hid his chin,
a goatee of a salt and pepper hue.
He coughed again, a painful sound,
his chest seemed to recoil in fear
and tears rolled from the corners
of his bloodshot eyes, to meet
down at the chin, with greenish pus
dissolving some to start the flow anew,
down to his trousers, striped and blue
leaving their telltale stains upon
what once was upperclass from better days,
before the tumour burst one lonely night
and sent its scouts to roam and seize
in search of sugar which would feed
the rogue and nasty cells that were,
and soon would be, his private hell
before the system would give in, at last
and make its peace by shouting welcome to its doom.
He'd burned his bible when he still could stand
no use to have a book that gave false hopes,
he should have done so when his mother died,
same thing he thought, she'd filled her lungs
with tons of fluids in the end, it took away
all powers just to breathe, though she was strong
and pulled the plug herself, no respirator would
accompany her life into the other world, oh no.
And now it was his time, it came so bloomin' fast
he'd had no time to reminisce or let the past,
his own, drift by in front of tired eyes, a film
of one life lived and brought to terms with God,
His will and wiley ways, how could a world exist
in which omnipotence took on the role of judge,
and executioner, without a shred of love for man
pointing its thumb, to either heaven or to hell,
depending on an ambience of strange and unknown truths.
The nurse, a pretty thing, see-through her uniform,
well semi in its lovely, clingy way, she had a smile
that seemed reserved for him alone, and if he could,
somehow by way of grace from God or other forces, be
a whole and heart man again, he would not hesitate,
and money always paved the way, he'd lay it on the line
that life itself is short and one must take the hand
of such a treasure chest who would be proud to bear
his children, make his home into a haven for them all,
she'd left, next to the water jug, a small syringe,
capped still but full of liquid green, a pad of wipes
sat, awkwardly, not far away and held a note, of rose
and flowered paper, a Hallmark brand for sending thoughts
to lovers through the Royal Mail, it said, in purple ink:
It's what you want and need, my handsome friend, you've seen
so many times, when I went through the day's routine,
just do the same, it will be quick and as you do, please press
your buzzer then, and be assured I really, fully understand
I'll be right here, like lightning flash to hold your dying hand.

Ashraful Musaddeq 15 September 2008

A very toucy composition.

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