The Wait

He looked thin.

All the beer and potatoes and red,

red meat had left his bones

in just eight hours.

Tubes and needles stuck out of his yellow body

like sterile weapons

sucking life from him

while they pumped fluid in.

A beeping and flashing machine

kept his heart beating,

not God,

and I wondered how my dad

would have felt about that.

The better part of me wanted to grab

his motionless fingers,

but the bigger part held me back.

I was as still as he,

imagining it was my heart

limping across the screen,

my lungs being filled by a plastic bag,

my life lingering in a hospital bed.


7 thoughts on “The Wait

  1. That was such a terrible day – It’s one of the few moments in my life where every detail is etched in my memory. The good parts – like seeing Cliff show up at the Hospital and Scott Shoop telling us jokes to make us laugh as he drove us home to Newcastle. And the really bad parts – like how you described. The sounds especially stuck with me – like his “breath” when he wasn’t breathing on his own. Makes me shutter! I’m so happy he’s ok now – and healthier than he was!

    • Sister, I couldn’t agree more. The reason I had to write about the bad parts was to get them out of me. But you know my other clearest memory was coming home from school and seeing dad stand up from his recliner with a bud light in his hand and the biggest smile on his face. 🙂

  2. Focus on every single moment with him. You’ll never regret it. I found this piece particularly significant. I’ve been there, but with a different outcome. BTW your writings are fantastic. You’re on my radar. ~G

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