girl in a coma

I: the mother

                       I sit by your side as sleep blossoms

                       within you, unfolding like a morning glory at dawn. Long ago

                       the doctors sent you home. Friends no longer

                       come to visit; they have children

                       of their own to care for.  twenty-nine years

                       you have lain here. never

                       blinking, never smiling. Still a young girl: never

                       a first kiss or love but

                       graying hair and sagging skin. still

                       a young girl.  never a first kiss, love                 you are no longer

                       my daughter.   you are

                       a ritual, an unanswered


II: the sister

                       systematic tubes and hums

                       decorate your room. unlike

                       the soft stuffed animals that have hibernated

                       long past their prime. coffined in dust.  mother

                       is always by your side, holding

                       your hand, holding to faith

                       years of worry, waiting crease her face.  mother

                       is always by your side.  years of worry. years

                       of waiting.  I can see the coma in her, too

III: the narrator

a casual  observer  watches tv  and sees a mother  talk about her daughter

who has been in a coma for years and he decides to write a poem about life:

but to capture in words

all the fear and wonder you will

feel in that first moment

you realize that you are old

and your life’s not been lived. looking

into your mother’s face, only vaguely familiar,

altered. How your voice will crackle

with lack of youth and use, and you will mouth:

“I’m old, mamma, I’m old.”

4 Comments Add yours

    1. Is that good? I hope.

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