Dying in Dignity

short-story-thumbsOn top of the bed lies a frail form

A little old lady wrinkled and worn

Wide eyed and frightened her bewildered gaze

Stared up at me through a shadowed haze.


Around and about us confusion is rife

As Doctors and Nurses fight for her life

Surrounded by gadgets, science to prove

Suffering in silence, unable to move.


They reach to adjust the equipment that’s wry

And her gaze catches mine, questioning why?

I tried to ignore the tear in her eye

And I tried to ignore her shuddering sigh.


But it pierced to my heart that silent cry

Please, where is the dignity in which I should die

I’m old and I’m frail, at the end of the line

Grant me some privacy and peace at this time.


I reached for her hand and I held it tight

Then I saw in her eyes a glimmer of light

Her hand closed on mine, precious moments we shared

She knew I was there, and she knew that I cared.


As she slipped in peace to a comatosed state

I knew our encounter had not been too late

I felt for her plight, and the courage she had shown

And I knew she took comfort in not being alone.


I looked about then, and I wondered too

What all of our knowledge could really do

What would I do if the choice were mine

Would I want peace, and not borrowed time?


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