“I Hear….”

“Please leave.”
I hear my son’s voice.
“I want to be alone with my father.”

I hear the talk of strangers.
The medical staff.
I hear their sounds
but do not comprehend
their words.
The angels of mercy
remain.

I hear the hiss
of oxygen
escaping
from a
double-ended
plastic tube.
I hear the soft gurgle
of fluid
still flowing
into my arm.
I no longer hear
the soft beeps
of the heart monitor.

I hear my son’s voice
pleading
to be heard
over
the squeal
of wheels
bearing
sophisticated equipment
from the room.
I try to listen.
I want to hear
what he wants
to say.

Finally
there is silence.
My son whispers
“I love you, Dad.
You done good.”

My eyes
see only
the blackest of black.
My fingers
sense no material
goods.
I smell no disinfectants
no fresh-laundered sheets.
My tongue
is no longer soiled
by unwanted
chemicals.
My ears
detect no sound.

And I remember
that hearing
is man’s last sense
to go.

(Written for dVerse Poetics: Writing from the perspective of the dead. November 04, 2014.)

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18 Responses to “I Hear….”

  1. billgncs says:

    when my father died, I arrived about an hour or so later to find him on a cart, behind a drawn curtain the tube still within him where they tried to keep him alive. It’s funny how small he was, perhaps it was the end of childhood illusions. But I do know you can tell a dead man alot of things as they listen quietly in front of you.

  2. Grace says:

    This is very moving *wiping away tears* ~ Hearing indeed is the last to go ~ At the end, this is all that matters – to affirm our love & wish their journey to be just as good ~

    Thanks for linking up with D’verse Poets Pub and wishing you happy week ~

  3. Bodhirose says:

    Very moving…and I too have heard that hearing is the last sense to go before death. I really enjoyed this perspective right before the end…

  4. vb, this is lovely and so sad.

    janet

  5. How extremely moving.. the hearing is the last sense to leave.. so just maybe it does make sense.. the way to get rid of the word… and hearing that farewell.. bittersweet..

  6. to say this is powerful is an understatement. I didn’t know hearing was the last to sense to go… And the details you gave were chilling. Amazing take on the prompt.

  7. claudia says:

    oh heck… tears… really a moving piece…i love that he heard his son saying that he loves him and that he done good… a calming statement to leave with…

  8. brian miller says:

    dang…so hard…to still be concious and hear the final words…i can hardly imagine…esp if it was a son…one you wanted to protect and help grow up…tight piece…

  9. Mary says:

    Really a beautiful poem. One we should all take to heart. I have been with a few people during times when they were no longer able to communicate. I talked to them, just as the son did in this poem, and I do have the feeling that they did hear. The best thing though is to say the things that one wants to say while the person can yet respond….but to share like this…is important as well. For both.

  10. Justin Lamb says:

    This is so, so powerful. I picture myself saying this to my dad. And I want to be the father that makes my son say the same to me.

  11. This poem evokes emotion, VB, and leaves each one of us with memories of losing a loved one. I can remember a nurse telling me to just go on talking to my mother…that she could hear me. I did, and am thankful that I did. You seem to write so effortlessly. Well said.

  12. Matt Spence says:

    What a sad, but well done piece.

  13. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    Wow! Beautifully imagined and utterly believable I don’t find it sad, because he did hear his son’s last, loving and reassuring message.

  14. To describe death from this perspective really is significant. We celebrate birth, but being with someone as they leave this world is an honor and a privilege, in my opinion. Your poem really resonates with me as I was present at my dad’s passing. I know he could hear me…right to the end.

  15. Kathy Reed says:

    Same here…I hope he heard me, but if the brain stem is so damaged, I don’t know…touching.

  16. Sumana Roy says:

    so much love in this and so touching….

  17. grapeling says:

    powerful. moving. this one will stay with me ~

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