We Surround Her Bed,…

If you are male in a family that cannot communicate with each other about feelings, how do you react in emotionally charged situations?


We surround her bed,…


her dignity somehow stronger

for her immobility:

silent as she waits for death.

So we sons, grandsons,

tell jokes and laugh

with large voices,

anxious, desperate even

to vent the pressure in that room,

filling it with laughter that

splashes over the beds and tables,

the bottles of oxygen,

the inevitable vinyl chairs,

drowning the incessant TV,

then escaping the room,

spilling down the hallway,

rousing the patients

propped up in their wheelchairs,

chins on their chests,

surprising the aides who earn

back aches for minimum wage.

Then our laughter stops.

We feel embarrassed.

We feel awkwardly large,


we men

who cannot save

our mother.

Published by


I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

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