Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Life Preserver

photo by James Rainsford
So nice to know
that Mom's in good hands
especially now
that her health is failing
Wish we could be there
but life is so busy
maybe at Christmas
or her birthday
Please keep her comfortable
sure, sedatives are fine
if that's what she needs
to help her
Replace the broken hip
Remove the cancerous breasts
Take out the cataracts
Repair the blocked artery
Make it all new and
Give her more medications
to fix the side-effects of her medications
Flood her with
if there's any chance
Feed her with a tube if she won't
Stick another down her nose if she won't
Make her heart pump if she won't 
you can
Don't let Mother


Charles Miller said...

wow, wasn't expecting that from the picture of the sculpture. But it makes perfect sense, really, since the sculpture has that artificiality about it that comes thru in your words about medication on medication and the way that modern life seems filled with so many illnesses caused by the artificiality of it.

Fireblossom said...

Holy moley. This is disturbing and twisted, all the more so because it is so commonplace for this attitude to exist! And it fits the picture to a tee.

Mary said...

Lord, is this a piece of today's reality or what? And at a certain point one must ask...is she being kept alive for herself or for others? Truly it is important to ask people what their desires are before it gets to this point! And what IS life anyway????

Brian Miller said...

holy cow....i think they replaced a bit much of her...i know the feel of wanting to hang on...but there is a point...

hedgewitch said...

This is chilling, LM. I am grateful never to have been in a position to either make those choices or have them made for me--reminds me, where's that Living Will form again???

Daydreamertoo said...

Wow... Powerful.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

A commentary on modern life? Just do it. Whatever. Subcontracted caring. Well written but sad.

Grace said...

Your post resonated with me with the recent hospitalization of my mom. Medicines and artificial machines won't make her want to live; they need a reason to fight and live ~

Anonymous said...

interesting you should write that today. i volunteer at a hospital, and this guy was on his cell phone outside saying, "they got her heart back, yeah, it's 52 now..." an the guy looked terrible, like he had no nutrition, was a crack baby, wanted a smoke blah blah...and i was thinking what kind of condition is she in, and they an keep her alive, and how long will this last? they just keep people alive. doesn't matter what their life is like.

suffocated reflction

Laurie Kolp said...

Oh, my... I'm speechless Anna. Great interpretation of the picture... very effective.

Bryan M. White said...

That is some crazy...sculpture?

nene said...

all questions of the autumn years, choices as to 'quality of life'.
Mitigation of pain and angst for me and a menu of 'love well done'.

Mynx said...

sadly so true in so many families.
Hopefully it wont happen to me

James Rainsford said...

Brilliant. I love the raw honesty of this. Great write. James.

Anonymous said...

Some great bite to your words and a creative response to the prompt!

Bouncin Barb said...

This is why my husband wanted quality of life and refused to prolong the inevitable. Good post!

darev2005 said...

Oh snap yes. And no. I was crushed when my Mom passed but I was glad she went quickly.

Anonymous said...

powerful love poem to Mom.

Anonymous said...

There is such a dark tone to this...the horrors we inflict on patients to keep them from dying in peace. Of course, I'm writing from the perspective of a hospice nurse.

Pat Tillett said...

Wow! Dark and full of angst.
I wonder what she would choose for herself...
As usual, your words are top notch!