National Poetry Month: Death Poem

For National Poetry Month I wrote a poem a day with my students and assembled a collection. This year's collection: Death, Life, Work, & the Words In-Between captures the early months after my mother’s passing, the early weeks after my son’s birth, and the early days I spent back at work. This week I'm going to play catch-up here on the blog and post a poem from each section. So, for today, here's a post about those last days before letting go of Mom. 


In the days when your departure
was eminent
but your outcome was still unknown

as machines pumped air
in and out of your lungs
and triggered your heart to beat

I whispered in your sedated ear
I urged you to acknowledge
an impending arrival

The night before there had been the taking
of an unexpected test
and the surprise prospect of a new life

so I hoped this news
might delay your departure
might be something to fend off what was coming

but there was never an acknowledgement
never the happy spark in your eyes
of grandmother-hood all over again

and days later your departure
seemed a cruel trick

with this new life swelling toward arrival.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Beautiful Noriko. Captures so much. Thank you.