Touch: The Journal of Healing


Editor’s Choice


Falls are not simple

    by Murray Alfredson

She bled into the subarachnoid space.

‘Usually there is one way when this happens,’

said the Registrar as her coma deepened,

‘and that is down.’  Speech went, eye reactions

and no more even a finger-squeeze.  The nurses’

voices sounded clinical: ‘She’s been

incontinent.’  Her dying I could bear.

Five more days we sat about her bed,

a weary wait, though quietly accepting

how things stood.  And she breathed on unaided.

So when it came, we scarcely dared to set

any store by subtle muscle twitches

in her face, so slight indeed they almost

could not be seen.  We dared not believe

the flickers happened.  Till they slowly grew

more visible.  At last her eyelids opened

on to hope.

        And through that time of seeing

to her care, I knew together how

much easier had she died then, and how glad

I felt to have the further years for loving.

© 2012  Murray Alfredson

Murray Alfredson has worked as a librarian, lecturer and in Buddhist chaplaincy. He is a prize-winning poet, has published essays and poems in Australia, England, and America, and a collection, ‘Nectar and light’, in Friendly Street new poets, 12, Adelaide: Friendly Street Poets and Wakefield Press, 2007.

Copyright © 2012

Touch: The Journal of Healing

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