May 4, 2015

The Hospital Bed. {Poem}

hospital 2

Lying in a hospital bed

My father reached out with palsied hand

An autumn leaf, turned red and purple by time and life

Perched on a fragile limb, trembling as if there was a breeze

But there was not

Boney shoulders shrouded in blue cotton worn thin and soft from many washings

This once formidable man, an athlete, a scientist, a professor

Now reduced; now weak, thin, will-less

I smoothed special body butter from a blue and yellow tube onto his skin

Thin like rice paper; avoiding lesions, IVs and bandages

It smelled of lemon and sage, and

“That feels good,” he said

I tried to feed him lunch

“This looks delicious! Try a bite.”

He said he was just not into eating and spit out the food into a Kleenex.


Relephant Read: 

In Praise of Hospice.


Author: Debra Scheufler

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Author’s Own 

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Debra Scheufler