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A Personal Death

Although the smell unpleasant to inhale,
the blood no longer dripped from open wounds;
the nurse, accustomed to the sight of death,
remained unmoved as Grandma slipped away:
she calmly checked the pulse and shook her head;
her only thought of dirty sheets to change.

The nurse's shift was filled with blood and gore:
another death - and such a chore to tell
the grieving kin about their sudden loss.
She gladly caught her bus and hurried home,
but there she found her cat as stiff as board,
and held the body close, her sobs so loud.

for Craig's Death (Blank Verse) contest

Copyright © jack horne | Year Posted 2017

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  1. Date: 11/15/2017 8:27:00 AM

    Ahh!! Sad one..I just saw an episode of MASH where Margaret held up in surgery with young men who were wounded but then cried about a stray dog who was missing..Her feelings were transfered onto the dog..Well, they had to go somewhere..Thanks for all the visits to my page..Sara
  1. Date: 11/12/2017 11:38:00 AM

    there is a certain sense of neutrality about the daily grind of work, but a very personal experience can cut us deep... what an incredible piece on the perspective of death, jack... i enjoyed this and your comment on my page.. huggs
  1. Date: 11/12/2017 7:06:00 AM

    True, when it's a personal death we feel its striking power, and it hurts to see the painful emotions pulsate all through her after she saw her loving cat that has deceased...but why not the others? Has she become all too numb to the death of strangers that it has become a chore to her...sad but it happens! I couldn't do that...I would cry with each and every death that I couldn't get anything done, I would be a mess with a plateful of feeling blasting all throughout my body! Great Work!!
  1. Date: 11/12/2017 4:17:00 AM

    Without looking at Andrea's comment the first thought I had on this poem is that it is incredible. I understand nurses cannot die with everyone who leaves this world whilst under their care. But to care more for a cat.... Your poem is very clever and I wish you all the best in the contest.
  1. Date: 11/11/2017 6:44:00 PM

    oh wow, Jack, that was incredible thinking on how to do the theme of death, and when it's personal, how the death of a pet is so much more sorrowful for us than that of a stranger. Thanks for reading my poems today. You rock!
  1. Date: 11/11/2017 5:30:00 PM

    An awesome and compelling write Jack. So, in the end, the apathetic nurse has a feeling heart after all... A very creative way to portray the juxtaposition of these two facets; unemotional and emotional. A great, well written poem, excellent and enjoyed!
  1. Date: 11/11/2017 4:24:00 PM

    Jack, love your poem a winner already. Sorrowful 1st stanza ,, but that last line no compassion :( I love the way you made this nurse feel with the death of her cat. As a routine job as a nurse seeing death all the time she or he could feel no compassion since they don't know the individual almost like war..
  1. Date: 11/11/2017 3:50:00 PM

    I admire the vivid contrast in her emotional reaction, Jack...and well done on this form, superbly tackled. Regards // paul

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