In the Night

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

I wanted to gather you
up in my arms,
like a mother
gathers her young,
and bring you back
to New Mexico—
a place you once loved.

I wanted to take
you away
from the suffocating people
in that room
so I could listen,
alone,
to your ragged
breathing.

A gift
in the night.

© copyright 2011 White Ermine Across Her Shoulders

13 Comments

Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

13 responses to “In the Night

  1. This is melancholy and beautifully written Thomas with such a depth of feeling i, too, could feel.

    I am feeling it is a poem for your son?

    Wishing you all the healing possible

    Christine

  2. This is very poignant and heart-wrenching. A lot of emotion for a short piece – great economy of words.

  3. Wow, this one hits you… so much feeling behind compact words. x

  4. Ethel, I wish I could gather you in my arms right now and comfort you in these agonized memories of your dear son’s sufferings.

  5. This is so touching, Ethel… words escape me. Beautifully written – and so poignant.

  6. Caddo Veil

    Oh goodness, Ethel–such a heart-grabber. I love that you’re willing to bring these to us, so we can share in the ache of love. God bless you, Caddo

  7. You write so beautifully you remind me of my friend breathing her last , the fear the pain …….. Thank you

  8. Julie Catherine

    This really touched my heart, Ethel, and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing the days, nights and heart-thoughts of your dear son with us. Sending healing thoughts, love and prayers to you and Thomas both. xoxox

  9. fivereflections

    Ethel – a beautiful deep poem and a beautiful deep prayer

    my warmest thoughts
    David in Maine USA

  10. Anna Mark

    I felt this way, too, but with my Nanny and my Oma. I wanted to take them home to die, away from their sterile rooms, away from all the people, to a place they once loved, and to hear them breathe there for the last time…the idea of home being both someone’s arms and a deeply familiar, loved place.

  11. So sad, so personal, Ethel. You reached into my heart once more. It must’ve been so difficult not to be alone with your Kevin in this way. I believe that is why hospice came to be. Love, Diane

  12. Such tender caring and grieving, such unassuming dignity. Easy to read, yet with depth of emotion conjured by those simple words and images. An expert craftsperson at work.

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