Tuesday, September 11, 2012


A person needs just a little space to live.
Her tiny room is dark, lifeless.
Pictures “adorn” every inch of wall.
Jesus bleeds.
His mother and the saints suffer.

“There’s nothing good to eat here.  Look at that ugly thing they brought me.” 
She points to an innocent piece of chocolate cake,
that I’d gladly devour if I lived in her space,
I think.

I let her believe I’m kind to bring her homemade fish.
It makes her happier than to know what is
fast food – she never approved.
And why does she eat corn flakes with every meal?
Because she can
still possess feedom’s ghost.
Only ghosts willingly see her now.

Obligation mixed with love makes me visit.
But truth is truth,
most times, I’d rather not go.
Not because I fear the ghosts,
or Jesus’ painfully tortured look,
his mother’s and other martyrs’
portrayal of absence – no heaven on earth.
But I must fear… something.

There is certainty in her eyes.
She gives me five little packets of graham crackers she’d saved,
and a little bracelet someone made.

I leave contemplating her little place,
to live or die, 
we need just a little space.

(Submitted to Dverse Poets, open link night.)


  1. wow...chilling a bit to me...to know they are going to die...its hard at times...and def going to the hospital or somewhere the constant reminder is of what is to come....its hard...the little things she gives...that is cute...and speaks of her heart as well...

  2. I love this. I have been in rooms like these, and know the sense of inevitability, the small rebellions we conspired together to avoid it just a little longer.

  3. My dear Myrna,
    Very deep and touching indeed!! Once again, you have a beautiful heart.

  4. Heartbreaking..sad. Cute the things she saves to give to you.

  5. You well show the mixed feelings of love and obligation. A very vivid poem, but the picture was a shock! Very well done

    Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >

  6. I also found this a very moving poem. So sad the traps our minds make - and it's really quite wonderful that she gave you those things. She must really care about you. The poem is very well written. k.

  7. This is a very poignant write. It was like being there. It is sad to think about such a time and place in life... we must be afraid of something. She is lucky to have you.. and you her too. She is still a witness, a testament to life... she offers much more than the gift of graham crackers and a bracelet... a symbol of something deeper after all.

  8. So very moving and poignant, outlining the boundaries of the spaces we make for ourselves, both real and immaterial.

  9. This gave me goose bumps, Myrna. I can understand the feeling of visiting someone waiting to die with a mixture of love and fear. So deep a poem this is.


  10. I feel this one. I had a great uncle who used to save Saltines from his soup and muffins from his breakfast for me. He wanted to give me something, to thank me for being there. Yet so many times it was so hard to be there to navigate the silence that was the outcome of his second stroke. I felt so guilty so often. But I loved him so. You touched my heart, Myrna. Thank you.

  11. Every time I read about you taking care of someone or visiting someone, I feel love. I know what goes on within you when you visit people. The thought is noble but the feelings, mixed.

    Myrna, bless you always.

    Joy and love,

  12. I share the sentiments already expressed in the comments above. Lovely post and powerful. Made me think of both perspectives--yours and hers.

  13. So poignant, so tender. So touching that she sent you off with a "little gift". I often think about all the years we spend accumulating - houses, filling them with stuff, getting rid of stuff, getting more stuff........and at the end we wind up in a hospital bed with a toothbrush and a comb.

    I live in one room too and I LOVE IT!!!!! Big sunny room filled with my pictures of wildlife, my medicine shield, my Tibetan singing bowl.......a room filled with my treasures, and nothing not loved and needed.

    Bless you for visiting, Myrna. Definitely you bring sunshine with you when you go.

  14. oh myrna...this is not easy...i can feel your heart in this..the living in one room, needing not much space made me think of marie durand when she spent years and years, held prison in this tower but as small her space was, her influence can't be measured...

    (rgd. your comment on my place...i didn't write the sonnet on the business trip, couldn't have done this but actually wrote it some months ago...there was just never a good opportunity to post it...smiles)

  15. Oh Myrna, you write with honesty, compassion, love, devotion, kindness and well...just a clear vision of the reality you see...the pain of that...and perhaps the fear we all have of what the end of our lives will look like if we live a long time.

    beautiful writing as always. thank you so much for dropping by and visiting my blog...you always make me feel happy...knowing you are here/there/present in the world.

  16. The compassion and drama present volumes of life's goodness. Yes, how it's going to end set directions on how to be prepared. Nicely written Myrna!


  17. Myrna, I thought for sure I'd left a comment here already. This was just beautiful, as all of your poetry is. It says so much in so few words. Always powerful and lovely.