Like a Penny

Originally posted on March 21, 2016 at Mothers Always Write

Like a Penny


We entered the room in parade formation,

our gait slow and rehearsed.

The silence of the ventilator paralyzes me.

Visible is the incubator, it sits empty.  

The revelation removes the air from my body,

my bones dissolve. I am offered a metal chair. 

Denial embeds itself firmly

within the farthest recesses of thought,

helping my mind move forward.

Various people collect around me, but they 

arrived too late to bar the door from dread.

Fear followed their path through the entrance,

pushing promise aside, disregarding

my pleas to stay at bay.

And, as if fear itself was

a relation, it settled in to observe me,

expecting me to turn and nod.

Reality moved into the sterile, hushed room next,

without invitation or welcome,

its heavy hand on my shoulder.

The last shards of hope strangled by its presence,

slowly building to suffocate me

with a clench that refused to loosen.

A loved one squeezed my hand but only 

my heart felt the grip.

Nestled within my mind

I concealed a scream that was

suppressed by news not yet broken.

And like a penny on the tracks

I lost my shape

as fear morphed into

despair and pushed inside the room.

Without a chance to inhale

the Doctor’s voice spilled into the air.

His gentle whisper sliced my reality

with the words,

She is no longer

and like that penny,

I felt worthless.


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