Effie Yalena Steyn

Rookie (6th July 1987 / South Africa)

(life Support) Goodbye Grandpa - Poem by Effie Yalena Steyn

Others could tell you how he is there.
What went wrong, what stopped ticking,
Where health, medicine, science failed.
I am more interested in why he is there.
Does he deserve it?
I think not.
Tubes enter, violate saggy skin, tired with surviving old
eyes drop, droop closed, bloodshot at last look, never to see me again.
Something breathes in the corner.
It breathes for both of us.
Me- I am breathless with anger. Why now, Are-You-There-God?
Withered fingers curl on crisp sheets, sodden with the morning, sodden with lost hopes.

Flashbacks in dozing heads, of summers gone and swimming pools, and Grandpa in those horrid shorts.
Grandma had no taste, but I would give anything to see him in those now.
Flashbacks of nativity plays, of tea and scones and elderly friends
And all those Beale Park weekends,
Of perfume and hugs, of Old Spice and pats on expectant shoulders.

You beep, and inch by inch you turn greyer.
They aren't worried. 'It's time' they say.
A metronome keeps time as time fades away.


Comments about (life Support) Goodbye Grandpa by Effie Yalena Steyn

  • Ron StockRon Stock (4/13/2015 10:56:00 PM)

    Strong, gripping poem (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Patricia GranthamPatricia Grantham (4/13/2015 7:21:00 PM)

    Watching a loved one in this heart wrenching scenario can
    be painful. Nevertheless it still gives a feeling of contentment being with them for
    the last time. Good write.
    (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Kelly KurtKelly Kurt (4/13/2015 10:28:00 AM)

    I have experienced this as well. You told the story with grace (Report)Reply

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  • John Richter (4/13/2015 7:05:00 AM)

    quite touching.... oh how memories like these linger on. (Report)Reply

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  • Lyn PaulLyn Paul (4/13/2015 6:25:00 AM)

    So very beautiful Effie. I So Love the incredible Love you had and still do have for your Grandpa. Thank You (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Jasbir ChatterjeeJasbir Chatterjee (4/13/2015 5:30:00 AM)

    Nice poem...this time when you are just about to lose a loved one is the most difficult... (Report)Reply

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  • Kim BarneyKim Barney (4/13/2015 5:25:00 AM)

    One of the saddest poems I've ever read. I hope when my time comes I don't have to be connected to one of those awful machines. Just let me die peacefully in my sleep at home. (At my age I don't even buy green bananas anymore.)
    Well-deserved selection as Poem of the Day. Congratulations!
    (Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
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  • Luis Estable (4/13/2015 5:21:00 AM)

    A very sad poem this is, but why to keep someone going on when there is no more going on? That is the quetion!

    I contend with the language being utilized here and the deep meaning of its words.

    Luis Estable
    (Report)Reply

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  • Kenneth MaswabiKenneth Maswabi (4/13/2015 4:08:00 AM)

    the last days of a beloved are always filled with emotions.It is much better to witness them than to be away on that special day.Thank you. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 3, 2009



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