Tag Archive | Friendship

Jack


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Many years ago I had reason to visit St Mary’s Hospital in The Phoenix Park in Dublin over a long period of time. There I met a gentleman who could not speak. Yet night after night for years he had one visitor; a lady who sat with him and simply held his hand. Then one night I arrived and his bed was empty. It left me with a lot of questions and inspired this poem.

Jack

You lay there day after day, quietly waiting

For death to free you from your worn body.

For months I watched her come to your bed

And whisper softly to you.

You never responded to her gentle whisperings.

Were you not afraid that your silence

Would send her away as you lingered

Between this world and the next?

What act kindness

What gentle word

In your long life

Inspired her to keep

Her constant vigil

By your silent bed?

Did you slip away in your own quiet way

Or did they call to let her know

You were about to go?

And did she come to hold your hand

And did you feel her tears fall

Or had she shed them many months before?

Her vigil is ended.

Tonight I came and your bed is empty.

And I know nothing about you, but your name

And that, as your life drew to an end

You had a faithful friend.

 

Eithne Reynolds (c)