In the Dying Room

You didn’t cry

often enough

in your long life

held back sobs

always saving


you never know

when it might be


At ninety-four

you float in your

salt bed

buoyant with tears

feeling pain no doctor

can diagnose

something seeps

inside you

lungs fill up

you’re drifting

Maybe your

wet sorrow will

offer a way out

like little Alice

by the tiny garden door

swimming toward land

with odd companions

maybe you will

drift off in your sea


a coracle round

and sturdy

after having responsibly

returned to harbor

so many times

relief sobs itself free

like a wild breaker

on which to scud

once the frayed rope


~for Lucille Brown Bohnstedt.

#poetry #grandmother