vox poetica – Do Not Resuscitate

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Do Not Resuscitate


06.25.20 Posted in today's words by

Iris Litt taught Woodstock Writers Workshops for more than twenty years and has led workshops for Writers in the Mountains, Arts Society of Kingston (ASK), New York Public Library, Educational Alliance, Marble Collegiate Church, and other venues in New York City and the Hudson Valley. She has taught creative writing as adjunct at Bard College and SUNY Ulster. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Ohio State University and was an exchange student at Universidad de las Americas in Mexico City. She lives in Woodstock, New York, and winters on Anna Maria Island in Florida, which was the inspiration for Snowbird, her most recent poetry chapbook. Previous books were What I Wanted to Say from Shivastan Publishing and Word Love from Cosmic Trend Press. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have been published in many magazines, including Evening Street Review, Confrontation, Saturday Evening Post, The Hollins Critic, The London Magazine, The Bryant Literary Review, Onthebus, The Atlantic Monthly (special college edition), The Westchester Review, The Widow’s Handbook, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, and many others. She won Honorable Mention in Winning Writers 2016 short story contest, was a finalist in the 2016 New Millennium flash fiction awards, won honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest short story competition several years in a row, was a finalist in Variant Literature’s 2020 chapbook contest, and won an award in the Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest and was published in their anthology. 

Do Not Resuscitate
By Iris Litt

I am signing something
that gives you permission
to leave this place. I’m not religious
but I dreamed for you the old cliché:
you will rise above the Hudson Valley,
above the broad river
and the hills carpeted with
the lush green of a rainy spring,
leaving behind the stupid nurse,
the wheelchair with the lost footrests,
the music you loved but can’t hear,
the sunlight you can’t see,
the weakness that can’t hold
a small cardboard carton of milk.
I give you permission
to rise. Oh, the freedom!
I kiss your dear ruin good-bye
and sign on the line
to free you from
the prison of life.



One Response to “Do Not Resuscitate”

  1. Beautiful, and yet poignant.

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