Nanna’s Wishes

As soon as I saw her, I knew she would die,
The sight of her old withered limbs made me cry,
She beckoned me over, put on a brave face,
She said she was ready, I thought it a lie.

Please do me a favour, get out of this place,
She said with the palm of her hand on my face,
It’ll do you no good, it’ll suck out your soul,
So walk out of here now, disappear without trace.

I heard what she said, though it sounded quite droll,
This place was a hungry and giant black hole,
The happiness went out of everyone there,
All of our life and our love this place stole.

I fed her some tea and I brushed her white hair,
And I checked she had toothpaste and clean underwear,
Then I gave her a kiss and with one knowing look,
I left her behind, and a part of me there.

I walked out forever, the courage it took,
To obey her strange wishes should not be mistook
For someone uncaring who just stayed away
So as she withered they’d not have to look.

I wanted to visit my Nanna each day,
My heart said: Oh Nanna don’t send me away,
But she wanted me gone and she wanted me strong,
Because she knew soon that there would come a day

When the grief of her passing would be our new song,
And she knew that it needed somebody quite strong,
To help all the others to handle their grief,
The day after I left, Nanna sang her last song.

Elderly woman's hand

[Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a rubaiyat – this is formed of stanzas with the rhyming structure AABA. I took it a step further and used AABA BBCB CCDC etc like Robert Frost’s famous poem Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening ]

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13 Responses to Nanna’s Wishes

  1. Serena Malcolm says:

    This is so sad, but so lovely. “I left her behind, and a part of me there.” I know this feeling all too well. Amazing poem!

    Like

  2. I so connected with this one Pooky. Though my experience with my dad was the opposite, he so wanted me there with him. Its a tough gig being with the dying, good we only have to do our own once.

    Like

  3. wbdeejay says:

    This is truly beautiful Pooky, I cried.
    This poetic form is lovely. I haven’t had a go because I’m not yet ready, and this morning I feel less ready than yesterday

    Like

    • PookyH says:

      Thank you Peter. I wanted to do something clever with this form but I couldn’t find the words.

      I imagined a conversation where the opposing view made up the third line each time where person a spoke majority of stanza 1, person B spoke majority if stanza 2 and so on.

      Maybe another day.

      I’m going to start writing daily prompts for me and folk who want to play after NaPoWriMo. I hope you’ll join some days? X

      Like

  4. Otrazhenie says:

    Beautiful poem. So touching. It brought tears to my eyes.

    Like

  5. This is wonderful. I read it initially at a football match on my phone & was completely taken to another place. As for the composition, that is amazing. I am going to have a bash but it may take a while!

    Like

  6. mtanub says:

    :’( so so sad. but it’s tru. there is never happiness there.

    Like

  7. jenjilks says:

    I’m a hospice volunteer, and this one reflects what I do all the time. Well done.

    Like

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