Healing Hands

nurse's hands.jpg

In the end, hands told the story

a common denominator among the dying


Some clenched in anger or pain or both

grasping sweat-soaked sheets on a rented hospital bed

that had taken over the room where family meals used to be shared

white gladiolas, long neglected, wilt in an empty vase


Some folded to accompany fervent prayers

offered by a minister speaking in thunderclaps and cloudbursts

as the faithful gathered with perfect posture to welcome the hereafter

a child, ignored, sleeps in a corner


Some reached out as if to delay the inevitable

begging for reprieve, an end to this suffering

immured in a place that reeked of antiseptic and rot

vials of medicine, insulin perhaps, untouched as morphine pumps whirl


Some were limp as if in acquiescence

relaxed as stories of days gone by were shared without regret

a last celebration of sorts, glasses of wine filled and refilled

containers of food from a favorite restaurant growing cold on the counter


Some were given to shake and tremble

the only obvious movement of a body in a seemingly endless slumber

an errant interruption of feigned peace on display by the light radiating from a single bulb

his slovenly dressed son rubs his scraggly beard and weeps


And she, as witness to final moments, embraced each one,

providing comfort and compassion and a hand to hold


photo: Pixabay

prompt: Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie Wordle #161



  1. thanks for playing the wordle – you’ve certainly used the words in a very provocative and heartfelt way – capturing essence and feeling, accompanying the intensity and sometimes indifference of emotions that accompany death and bedside rituals ….

    Liked by 1 person

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