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The Parting

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Below is the poem entitled The Parting which was written by poet Mike Miller. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Parting

I took you for your final walk
On that crisp and sunny day
The blanket round your 
To keep the chill at bay

We didn't talk the way we 
I filled the gaps with platitudes
Those precious moments lost
To a pain that I eschewed 

I didn't want to let you go
And I could not conceive
That love could hurt so very 
As it prepared to take its leave

In the hospice garden, so 
manicured and neat
My language and vocabulary
Seemed weak and obsolete

In the days that followed
You raised your hand to greet
The friends that came to visit
When you could barely speak

On my first day at school.  
I held that hand so tight               
you walked me to the 
And made everything alright

I watched your fast decline
As the cancer took a hold
I saw your nighttime  sweats
And I felt your hands turn cold

And at nights when I got home
My grief went "supersonic"
As I rocked in anguished pain
Fuelled by loss and gin and 

You just wanted to get home
I saw the ambulance arrive
I watched them wheel you out
And you seemed barely alive

I thought it callous, cruel
To move you in that state
But when you lay in your own 
Your fears seemed to dissipate 

We all knew that you would 
In a day or maybe two
So the family gathered round
To say goodbye to you 

And time seemed to lose 
As those final hours passed by
Your eyes no longer opened
your lips looked cracked and 

And on that final night
We all gathered round your bed
All those that really loved you
Came to say what must be said

But sleep lay heavy on us all
In the early morning hours
And since you seemed to 
We succumbed to slumber's 

My brother and I stayed close,
Keeping vigil by your side
As you had always stood by us
As our father and our guide

Your breathing seemed to falter
Now intermittent, soft and 
So I held your hand and 
"Dad, it's ok for you to go..."

I woke the family from their 
We all began to pray,               
Anguished faces round your 
When you gently slipped away.

I thought I had prepared 
But grief engulfed me like the 
That swamps the little rock 
In that moment when you died

Love forged the links that bind
Which death will not wrench 
Memories mass like treasures
Which times passage will not 

Our souls are intertwined 
I the sapling, you the tree.               
I will always be a part of you,
And you a part of me.

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  1. Date: 12/2/2013 4:39:00 PM
    Thank you for all your kind comments about my poem. I wanted to record the terrible pain, loss and sadness I felt when I lost my Dad to pancreatic cancer last year. I needed to "earth" those feelings and this poem was the lightning conductor that helped me to do it . Mike

  1. Date: 11/2/2013 11:40:00 PM
    Mike.:-) Congratulations on having your poem featured on the HOME PAGE.... always~ LINDA

  1. Date: 10/28/2013 9:54:00 AM
    It was with honor that I read this featured poem today. It hit very close to home, and left a lump in my throat, all too familiar. I feel the sensitivity and care that went into your love, grief and this touching poem.

  1. Date: 5/11/2013 9:42:00 AM
    My deepest condolences to you on the loss and very sad write.

  1. Date: 5/10/2013 7:19:00 PM
    hello Mike, :-) I'm taking this moment to wish you an early Happy Mother's day. Just in case, I can't hang around the soup past Saturday Night. May you enjoy all the blessings a mother engraves in our hearts. About your poem: you have written the poem beautifully. A very heartfelt poem. thank you for sharing~ LINDA

  1. Date: 5/10/2013 5:24:00 PM
    So beautiful and so very, very sad. My deepest condolences to you on the loss of your father. You were obviously a close pair. Nice write I'm adding to my faves list. Stay strong, my friend. Licia :-)