Touch: The Journal of Healing


She’s Coffined Within

    by Mary Susan Clemons

Her daydream spins sterile bright, weaves

an afternoon of shaded park benches

and her grandson’s playground conquests.

Across foot printed sand, he runs,

ignites puffed pigeons. She rises, absorbs

his hug energy. He skirt murmurs,

“I love you, Grandma.” 

The moment whitens as reality

penetrates with an aired whoosh

and the stabbing of heels on tile.

“Mother, it’s good to see you up.

Jimmy, give Grandma a kiss.”

He skates into view, manages

the restraint to deliver

a flutter on her cheek.

Immobilized her lips show no joy,

arms twitch to pull him near – cuddle

him on her lap. Unaired her words,

“I love you, Jimmy” lie as still as her tongue.

His nose scrunches with the antiseptic

sting, medications’ twang, death

laced. He retreats to the distant wall.

“Dr. Andrews said we can move you to the nursing home

tomorrow. I know you understand, with both of us working …”

But the words are a minister’s

eulogy. She’s coffined within. 

Screams unvoiced. Numb hands lap

supported. Only the scratches

behind her eyes are visible.

© 2009 Mary Susan Clemons

Mary Susan Clemons lives in Florida with her husband and two sons.  She is a member of NFSPS (National Federation of State Poetry Societies), FSPA (Florida State Poetry Association), and a local poetry group, The Poet's Corner Workshop.  She is a part-time moderator at Wild Poetry Forum, an on-line poetry workshop site.  Her poetry has previously appeared in Touch: The Journal of Healing.


Copyright © 2009

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.