Our Song

This happened so fast, every last bit (it started when?) and now you’re dying, you are dying. A Saturday night and it comes down to this: a cough, rattled breath, and love you don’t hear. We’re next to you, we circle you, we avoid you, we sleep on the floor to be near. Because you are slipping, you are slipping. Most of us are struck by the severity, the harshness of what comes next. We are losing, and you are going, you are going.




You made it that night. But you are near. Sunday and you choke and gurgle and I ironically smell lavender from the pink pillow I bought as your good luck charm. We play your favorite CD and finally Mother Mary, Gentle One soothes your heaving, your refusal to let go. All of us ring the bed, watching you, in our way. Hours later, still at your side, and you are leaving, you are leaving.




I tell you it’s OK. I smooth your hair and somehow, it’s just you and me. The two people who fought their way through the years, and it’s just you and me. I ignore the sound, your mouth fighting for air, and just smooth, I just smooth. Closing your cold mouth that final time was the worst thing I’ve had to do. The worst thing I had to do. And you are floating, you are floating.




Tell me you are floating.


21 thoughts on “Our Song”

  1. This is stunning. you start by saying it “happened so fast” and then the way you have paced the piece really does happen so fast, sort of inexorably moving forward without stopping, just like that.

    The use of repeating phrases and rhythms carries us on to the end, to the final release. going, going; slipping, slipping; leaving, leaving; just smooth, just smooth; worst thing, worst thing; floating, floating.

    So beautifully crafted and so poignant.

  2. Wow, what a piece. Brought me right back to saying good-bye to my dad. To those last days of his rattled breath, our baited breath. When would it happen, who would be in the room? Is he floating? Thank you for that.

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