We collected you and your paperwork from Ward 2b,

Ninety two years and the sum of you

Was neatly packed into two green plastic bags.

Your jaundiced face, breathing shallow,

Cannulated oxygen offering some small

Respite from your agonies, pains, sorrows.

I noticed your paper thin skin

Each vein a contour line, each bruise

A different story now.

We got you, stretcher bound, locked into place,

Carrying you like Charon across the Styx –

For some, Hell is a nursing home.

I prayed you did not die, selfishly.

You had suffered enough, but

I needed you stay with us

For one last hour,

For one last journey

‘til you were no longer in my care.

We delivered you and your paperwork to Room 12,

Ninety two minutes and the sum of you

Had stained my heart indelibly.


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