A Panting Corpse Poem by Robert W.Quilter

A Panting Corpse

he doesn't understand
because Val is already dead
she died in 2006
and the last section of her life, spent in cohabitation, with
the last of her terrible men, was comparatively quiet, much of it
dedicated to Kev.
she spoon-fed him
she clipped his toenails
she would put on a too-small swimsuit and guide him in the bath.
then Kev died in 2005
then Val died
the woman doctor, in intensive care, spoke of a 'catostrophic failure'

so he was alone that July 11, in the room with a panting corpse
she had been unconscious for over a hundred twenty hours
mother and brother were told no point in coming, from
Walthamstow, from Hornchurch, she would not be waking up
her body was flat, sunk into the raised bed
but the lifeline on the monitor, continued to undulate and she continued to breathe

yes, Val looked forceful
for the first time in her life, she seemed to be like someone it would be foolish to underestimate.
'she's gone'said the doctor and pointed with her hand
the wavering line had levelled out, 'she's still breathing' he said
but it was the machine that was still breathing
he stood over a breathless corpse

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