Swallow the Sadness

I have to tell people they are dying.

Do you know how that feels?

to see the life drain away from them

the moment the words fall from my lips

like poison

 

I have to tell people they will not get better

that there is no hope to hold

they let go, set adrift, no turning  back

I can not tell them where they are going

 

Promises can not be made

I can not say how it will feel

no pain? how can I say you won’t feel pain

the loss of life and leaving  those loved

the ache can not be cured

 

I say I am sorry – what am I sorry for?

an absurd word to say, but I say it none the less

I hold your hand with a heavy heart

the air thick with dying cells and sickness

 

and then I walk away, into the outside

fill my lungs with air fresh and free

walk on to the next person that I see

I swallow the sadness and it dissipates

I can forget; but you can not

 

10 thoughts on “Swallow the Sadness

  1. Jenny

    WOW Emily this is so very powerful and so heart aching too! I almost cried my eyes out. What a hard job to have. I can’t even imagine having to do that once let alone more than once on a daily basis. That would be hard. You must be so strong as someone has to do it. Great poem to express your feeling though. #prose4t

    Reply
  2. Emily

    Beautiful words but so sad.
    I couldn’t do your job. I say I couldn’t, it’s the being able to be detached I couldn’t cope with.
    You’re a star Emily x

    Reply
  3. Emma from over at LIFE AS IT IS

    Emily, this impressive poem shows how strong you are. In so many ways.
    I’m sorry I missed you at britmumslive.

    Reply
  4. Judith

    Amazing. This really gave me chills, so well written. It really took me there, to that moment. You describe the feeling of inadequacy and oppression so well yet so simply. My favourite bit content-wise was: no pain? how can I say you won’t feel pain/ the loss of life and leaving those loved / the ache can not be cured. And the line that gripped me most was: “the air thick with dying cells and sickness”. Stunning. Looking forward to hearing and reading more of your poetry again!

    Reply
  5. Maddy@writingbubble

    This is heartbreaking! I’ve wondered before how it must feel to be someone who has to give ‘bad news’ like this. Your poem describes it beautifully – how hard it is and yet that you have the freedom to walk away. #prose4T

    Reply

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