Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hospice On-Call

After spending a few hours with an elderly woman who was trying to survive one more episode of severe chest pain, after sitting at the bedside and spooning bits of medicine into her so that her pain might be eased, after wiping the cold sweat off of her grey face, after drying the tears of her two faithful daughters and assuring them of one more day, after all of this I found a churchyard labyrinth and walked it slowly, watching each foot move me away from my goal and then toward my goal and then away from my goal.  The goal never moved.  My own heart calmed and dilated and beat again, and again, and again.  Soon I reached the center and stood quietly with my beating heart while cold air moved into grateful lungs and snow swirled softly through a gray morning.  


  1. Lovely poem. Thank you. (I'm a friend of Julie Swan.)

  2. Thank you for the wonderful experience. Julie Swan and all the people who like this one