Hospital Thoughts

For my father:

Through yonder window breaks

The boy

Kneeling at the bedside table

A prayer

Somewhere in the midst

Of life,

The feet of death hang

In grayscale

Monument of the quiet man’s strength

A shroud

Over hope, the sing-song memory

It perseveres

Through white-coat salutations

Their assurance

Little comfort in the night’s long hour

Laid out

When he is naught but dreams

A longing

Night’s crystal rain

The watch

He is the only one, he tells himself

That sees

The wrinkles and the lines, in pallid sheets

The world

If he can make it through the night—

Slow breaths—

Hope will find them in the dawn.

My father and mother, seen here at my brother's wedding rehearsal.

My submission to this week’s One Shot Wednesday, and one that holds a special place with me. I wrote this a few days ago when, if you will remember, I was caught in the throes of a massive worry in my own life, revolving around my ailing father. Since then, he has undergone surgery and is apparently recovering now…and while that recovery time will be long, it is still a comfort to know that he will be better again.

This work revolves mostly around the feelings of waiting, the uncertainty, the hoping…the great pain that comes with watching and being unable to do anything in those long nights.


30 thoughts on “Hospital Thoughts

  1. a fine and sensitive poem – thanks for sharing your thoughts and pain with us – good to have people like you around – and good to hear that your dad is recovering…all the best for you and your fam chris

  2. Hello Chris,
    Heard about your troubles from One Shot.
    Sending you & your family my thoughts and prayers. Good to hear your dad is recovering.

    Even though some of us are unknown to each other, we are all a family in a sense…through sharing our writings, blogs and comments.

    Best wishes and thank you for sharing your own pain with us.

  3. This is full of that sense of not knowing, of being helpless to do anything but wait, of that placing it all out of one’s self that is finally all you can do in situations like this. Well written, honest and not a wasted word.

    Thoughts and wishes with you and your family, Chris, for no more times like these for awhile..

  4. This is lovely, Chris, and I am so pleased to hear your father is recovering. I enjoyed the heart behind this one. It’s beautiful.
    “White coat salutations” is a great phrase.

    You and your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Peace to you all . . .

  5. Chris, you’ve captured perfectly that feeling of helplessness and wretched not knowing. Good to hear your father is doing better. Sending good vibes…

  6. “Night’s crystal rain”… I remember a night like this as my husband laid in a hospital bed at the age of 29. I’d been with him for a good 12 hours and need rest badly and walking through the parking lot. The earth wept as I did. He died a few days later. The wait was the worse…

  7. The alternating line lengths do an interesting thing with rhythm the imitates troubled breathing, an excellent device for this content.

    Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery for your dad. 🙂

  8. My heart goes out to you Chris. I’m happy he’s doing better. Did you rad this to him?

    My one shot this week is Oracle of the Feminine. It isn’t the posted piece today. 😉

  9. your poem tells the story so beautifully, Chris. we’re so happy to hear that your father’s doing better. sending thoughts of healing and peace for your family.

  10. Yes, I can feel the mment.
    I have been there when it was my father in the bed.
    My best wishes for the whole family at this stressful time. You are each others strength.

  11. Words from the heart so beautifully written. I can relate to what you were going through, no coming back for my dad though. Glad to read your Dad is recovering.


  12. a wonderful poem…took me back to when you watch the rise and fall of the breath, just to make sure…I pray that your father continues on his path of recovery…when well again, perhaps you shall present him with your words,gift.. peace~

  13. Absolutely touching, Chris! The chord you struck in this poem goes beyond the words. My prayers are with you as you await for his recovery. Thank you sharing this with us.

  14. This poem cannot fail to touch the heart of any person who has watched an aged grandparent or parent suffer through illness and pain. You have taken the very pulse of the emotions, the fears, the hope.

  15. Chris, I’m just catching up on blog posts and found this one from you. The poem is beautiful and touching. I’m so glad you father is recovering and I will keep him in my thoughts and prayers. And you too.

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