Rachel Hessom - On Dying Young
Strange things happen when a person dies so young,
The people told all open mouths so silently
Like goldfish gasping for some air or life or sense
Of a situation that reeks of God’s unfairness.
I sat beside you rubbing fingers on your gown
And watched the way your life unravelled
While no one else came near the gloomy ward
That staved off kindness and neighbours
Like the convoluted scent of certain death.
But you were young and not supposed to go
And that was why they cried,
Not because they missed your presence there,
But for the fact that tragedy could well have taken them.
They think of children, partners, loved ones they would miss
And fear can echo through them, hollow and untrue,
Turning dreams to shrieking sounds
That shake the bones, the cage of ribs
That holds the life they refuse to give.
And when they speak to me on quiet nights
Over glasses filled to rims, with tears in eyes
And hands reached out in gentle supplication,
I see the pity that you feared for me,
It will always follow me, until my dying day
And so I’ll learn from this although
I feel I’ve died with you.
Rachel Hessom is a writer based in the UK. She writes daily poetry on her blog, patientandkindlove.com and she enjoys tweeting words that vaguely represent poems. She is currently training to be an English teacher so that that she can pass on her love of literature to the next generation.