Marion/Mom presented her poem "Hospice Volunteer" at the Poetry From Page to Stage session on 30 April 2006, at the Milwaukee Public Library. She was one of 14 area poets chosen to read their works at a public session that also featured Milwaukee's poet laureate.
Photos: Gail Meilinger
In drugged sleep she lies,
old face bruised, eyes blackened.
Silently, I pray for her, for me, for us.
I just stand by
watching her struggle to breathe.
She stops gulping air. I wait.
She begins again, noisily grabbing
mouthfuls of oxygen.
Over and over.
Tired I sit back in the chair
near her bed
waiting, waiting, just waiting.
Suddenly I hear the quiet for too long.
put my fingertips to the base of her neck,
a gossamer of a pulse,
one beat, two, three, each fading
until a little last shimmer.
She has slipped away.
My weary thumb
traces a cross
on her still warm brow
Lord, take her into your arms...
I call the nurse.
Back home again, I weep
She died alone
with only a stranger nearby.
I am honored.
- Marion Jablonski
Marion/Mom's 80th birthday bash, with Maura, Max and Peter.