The Dying Nurse, a poem by Stark Hunter at
Nicky Pe

The Dying Nurse

The Dying Nurse

written by: Stark Hunter



A brown ’87 Corolla parked on Strub Street
The missus is visiting inside a faded green house
She’s nursing a dying yellow nurse at Yule time
She’s bringing gifts of unspoken commiseration

Green interior walls argue with green old furniture
Pillows and doilies lie still with a Felix the Cat clock
Stuck on 1957 wallpaper still adhering there ticking
The nurse’s daughter opens the green front door
She’s a forty-year old career girl with black bangs

Now she is pacing nervously
The carpeted confines of her childhood home
Telling her dying mother to go back to bed now
Telling her to put on a sweater for the cold
Now the green phone rings on the 1957 tea cart
This ivory-skinned daughter wearing Episcopalian shoes
Answers it with legs crossed and head tilted
She is happy to know nurses are coming to sing
Coming to bring a final salute to a dying friend
These angels with sad mittens and hopeful scarves
Coming in a caring caravan to give life back
To the one now perched bravely
High upon the precipice of losing it.

Family pictures in gold frames
Groaning on a television console
A deceased husband in the ground now and
A grown-up daughter wearing ubiquitous green
She stands now by her dying mother
Waiting and watching for a sign of auspicious light
Arm in arm they sway like trees in the wind
The front door opened wide dressed in tinsel

The nurses gather now on the green resigned lawn
Caroling Jingle Bells and birthing magic breath clouds
The dying nurse and her daughter embrace
As Silent Night soars serpentinely above the trees
Like a ghost choir gliding on amniotic carpets
Seeking one last miracle under the starry abyss
The missus and me join in interlocking cold fingers
The dying nurse in tears blows a goodbye kiss

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