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A Hospice Song

12.17.17 Posted in today's words by

Joyce E. Balls-Berry wrote this poem as a reflection of her father’s final day in hospice care. She lives and writes in Minnesota.

A Hospice Song
By Joyce E. Balls-Berry

I sit next to you
on a sunny afternoon hoping for more
time, your eyes closed, breath labored,
slip into perfect peace.

One last goodbye,
Family and friends crave your smile,
wish to hear you sing one last time.
We know you will soon be gone;
adieu for a moment, perfect peace forever.

We know you wish to leave
your earthly shell with grace,
to exit the corridor in style, as you entered.
We plan how you will leave us
because perfect peace is genuine love.

A scientist, a leader
you know the plan.
you know the risk.
I follow you, hold you until the end,
to your place of perfect peace.

We play soul music to ease your soul
at my mother’s request, for the man
she knew best, her one true love,
who promised never to leave.
and perfect peace is near.

Slowing, you let us know
your time is almost complete
No time to leave, could this hospital be
The space for perfect peace?

As a scientist, I pray for more than palliation;
an oxymoron many don’t understand.
Why bring God into this place?
The hospice team opens the curtain
God bring the sun, perfect peace to you, my father and my friend.
I intercede in pray that you feel no pain.
I pray the morphine eases your rest.
I pray as you lay still; the only movement
your chest, slowly rising and falling.
l pray for perfect peace.

At [2:33], the vocalist sings, “I love you”
Your final 2 heartbeats, your last deep breath
I see pain leave you, I appreciate the transition
I see perfect peace.

3 Responses to “A Hospice Song”

  1. Pam Sinicrope says:

    This poet brings love…and hope into the hospice room. This poem brings peace to both the speaker and the reader. The poem reflects well the hospice process and highlights the respect and care that exists in this room. Wonderful poem.

  2. Hiram Larew says:

    A beautifully sad and sadly beautiful piece. HGL

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