A poem I wrote against the day of your death…


When you are old and grey,
and full of something
not quite sleep,
I shall take your body

down from the shelf
where the coroner lays it
and do for you what you,
though you love me,
would be unable
to do for me.

I shall trim your fingernails,
your beard. I shall
comb your hair
the way you like it,
without pulling
or brutal tears.

I shall undress you,
peeling the horrid suit
the undertaker dressed
you in, all one piece,
disguised with zips up
the spine until you can lie
naked, unconfined,
the way that you like.

If I retain my hard-
earned strength,
if my limbs remain
firm at such extremity,
I shall carry you
across the threshold
to our bed.

If I am made weaker
than I mean to be by time,
I shall join you in yours,
for a few sweet hours.

Sleep calls to sleep,
one kind to another,
and if your scent has changed
or soured my breathing
lungs discount it.

When one hand grows chill
its sibling shall warm it.
I shall, for a while.
There is no last clasping
of hands matched as ours.

Our fingers are joined,
by more than these rings.
In lives, like our late
light-rising Saturday’s,
waking comes last.


About Bethany W Pope

Bethany W Pope is an award winning author of the LBA, and a finalist for the Faulkner-Wisdom Awards. Her work was listed for the Cinnamon Press Novel Competition. She received her PhD from Aberystwyth University’s Creative Writing program. Her first poetry collection, A Radiance was published by Cultured Llama Press in June. Her second collection, Persephone in the Underworld has been accepted by Rufus Books and shall be released in 2016. Her work has appeared in: Anon, Art Times, Ampersand, Blue Tattoo, Sentinel Quarterly, The Delinquent, De/Tached (an anthology released by Parthian), The Writer’s Hub, New Welsh Review, Every Day Poems, And Other Poems, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Magma, Words & Music, The Quarterly Conversation, Tears in the Fence, Ink, Sweat and Tears and Planet. Her work is due to appear in the next issues of Poetry Review Salzburg, Acumen, Pacific Poetry , Music& Literature, Anon, and The Screech Owl.

Posted on May 12, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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