Wednesday, February 4, 2015

When the Saints Go Marching In

Hanging on to bed rails
of compassion, in a hospice room
watching life slowly drift away
family come and go
throughout the day

She quietly sleeps in
the confines of her mind
everyone making
small talk, grasping
her hand with hope..
I think she heard me her eyes
moved..everyone inches closer
just to catch a glimpse..

The days tiredly slip away
one after the other..
sleeping in a winged arm chair
hovering the bed, everyone taking
turns..wondering who will be with
her in the final moment..
passing the gateway when no one is
watching, I guess she wanted to
go in silence, her own way


Standing around a granite stone
etched rose, baring her name

we say our good-byes as the blues
softly play,  trees gently sway
a saxophone echoes through
the land of the departed. We
stand together tears in our eyes

O when the Saints go marching in
 When the Saints go marching in
  O Lord, I want to be in that number
   When the Saints go marching in

Posted for Poets United writing about cancer
February 4th is World Cancer Day
written in memory of a family member
who lost the battle of breast cancer may
she rip...


  1. i have stood by enough grave stones in my day...
    i am glad she could just slip seems so peaceful
    and perhaps on the other side she has found a body
    that is free of what caused her know...smiles.

  2. This poem rings so true, Trudessa. And it's written like you've been there more than once. Blues, how lovely! With my family it's bagpipes and "Amazing Grace." Take care!

  3. Well said. Slipping away would seem a better way to go.

  4. Sad.poem..the number of women dying from breast cancer is phenomenal . We must find a cure.

  5. Hopefully we will gradually learn that early detection is important rather than to delay just in case it isn't the big C. This applies to men as well as women as often they are just as reluctant or more so in getting a simple test done.

  6. Sad and yet you made it a gentle and peaceful passing.

  7. Beautiful! Being there with each other and truly seeing her before and after her moment of dying--crossing the border--then accompanying the body in the rhythm of mortality. I am so moved, and expecially caught my breath at the "Oh wait" moment. Regardless of what led up to this, I could wish for such a peaceful love filled parting. Thank you.

  8. Slipping away in silence you sure made sound peaceful. One final choice before we go off to the next world. Stupid cancer needs to take a hike, but just more and more of it instead.

  9. You describe what many of us have experienced - family and friends anticipating the end. You wrote this beautifully.

  10. Such deep sadness losing a loved one a minute at a time.

    My poem was written in the parking of the doctors' office as my sister got her "all clear". The waiting room was so heavy and quiet I waited outside.

  11. Oh, I am right there with you in that room. Reminds me of being a hospice worker for a woman who was in end stage coma. I wanted to do more than simply sit there, so I began to read the glorious poem about life and death by Mary Oliver - The Leaf and the Cloud. The energy in the room changed and I knew the gift had been received.

    So sad, the mourners with tears in their eyes, your loved one gone too soon.

  12. I love this tribute to cancer. It is a horrible thing to fight, and all my condolences go out to those families who have to deal with this. I've found that hope and having people by your side always helps with the healing process. Nobody should fight this kind of sickness alone. My grandfather passed away due to cancer, and it was too late for him to get treatment. He was stubborn like that. And I miss him every single day, and especially when my senses trigger a memory. I always take a deep breath and try to not let it bother me.

  13. I guess she wanted to go in silence, her own way... with dignity after a hard fight. Lovely, I'm so sorry

  14. What a wonderful piece to is often the case that people slip away in their own time and moment...maybe to help those who them love so much