Time had evaporated into the dingy air of the hospital
Day merged to night, night to day.
Sleep turned to endless bouts of prayer and whispering into your ear. Whispering that it wasn't your time yet,
That everyone was waiting for you to come back.
All that came back to my ears
were the incessant beep of machinery
Machinery that was your lifeline,
that kept your beautiful heart beating.
Coiled and crimped tubes running in and out of your body
And you looked frighteningly ethereal;
A ghostly angel in the place of my sister.
A tangle of exterior veins; pumping foreign liquids into you
And though I loathed the thought of those cold substances
Stealing away the warmth from your blood, they kept you safe.
They ushered you away
From that distant white shore,
We have come to call death.
Until one day they simply could not save you any longer.
But there was a lingering flame
Amongst the grief that was waiting to pounce
Because? You were fighting.
Like a soldier you were fighting,
With your bare hands struggling against the predator called death.
You fought with every last ounce of will in your body,
Until God called your name,
And you grew your wings, and you left.
Visitors come and go
An endless flurry of desperate hugs
Fairy-like kisses upon my cheek; soaked, saturated in tears.
Because that was the first time,
I had ever felt absolutely, completely, powerless.
I was shrinking back into a shell of myself,
Speak when spoken to I reminded myself.
And through the night I would choke back my fear,
And I sang to you. Childhood melodies.
And they seemed so far away; out of my grasp.
I clutched a strangers hand
Your hand, was delicate and soft
This hand was swollen; foreign.
But I didn’t let go. Not yet.
I ran my hand through your hair,
And I didn’t get the scent, of lavender and soap.
I retched. Inhaling something harsh.
Because as I put one finger to your head,
It came away with blood.
You layed so, so, still.
Your chest rising and falling; with breaths that weren’t yours.
And I still,
Still, read you stories and talked to you-
In that scarce hope that you would wake up,
And I could hug you for real.
Not having to heave myself over you;
Being delicate, in fear of choking you.
But I still hoped.
God, I hoped with everything in me that you would make it.
I prayed on my knees,
Screaming in a silent room that,
I would abandon my faith- if God stole you from me.
And yet, stolen from me you were.
The doctors were hopeless,
Reminding us- the damage is irreversible.
If not today, you would die tomorrow.
But I would not desert you.
I still hoped.
I kept hoping.
And the next day came.
The day before you died.
The white sun broke through the window,
Embraced the room and clarified.
The shadows that the limbs,
Of the simple oak tree make on the hospital wall;
Stark and bellowing.
The leaves are all gone.
The leaves and the colour are gone.
The tree is devoid of youth and joy;
And in the tree- I see you.
You are the mannequin of a sleeping girl.
But the heaviness of you,
As though your insides have turned to lead.
I believe it is lucid now,
A dying girl.
Trapped in a coma.
Tomorrow, you’ll be gone.
My sister’s eyes are closed.
I pull her closer,
Inhale what remnants of her pure scent is left.
I want to hold her, In this world.
Keep her close,
Let her never to leave- not yet.
Her hair brushes my cheek.
She is still sleeping-
Why is she still sleeping?
I begin to cry
I do not stop,
And I lay my sister down.
On the white sheet.
Her eyes flutter open.
And sees shadows,
Sparrows on the wall.
Flocking to the naked limbs of the simple oak tree.
A small, beautiful smile.
And she points to the shadows on the wall and says
“It’s okay now, look, the leaves are returning to the tree.”
This is probably the most personal thing I have ever written. The most raw, the most real account of my sisters death. This poem doesn't speak of my grief, as my others do. But rather takes on the perspective of the girl I was when my sister was dying, A small thank you for reading, God bless you all <3