Guest Poet Nicole Peloquin

Until You Can Come With Me

I stand over you, 
Watching your chest rise 
And fall to the belabored hum of your ventilator.  
The machines beep in harmony to keep you alive, 
Although by looking at you, 
One would be easily mistaken by your appearance.  
Your rugged face brutally scarred and bruised 
Where flesh hit metal, glass, plastic.  
The tubes and lines branch from your body 
Skew the angelic glow 
Created by the white bedsheets that enshroud you.  
The smell you once held comforted, 
Your unique mix of Grey Flannel, booze and cigarettes 
Is now replaced by the repugnant odor
Of sanitizer and medical supplies.  

But you are unaffected.  

Lying in your endless 
Sleep I watch over you. 
You are my guardian angel 
But who's there to catch you 
As you fall from grace.  
I will stand vigil over you 
I will I watch the machines struggle to keep you alive.  
The once comforting gaze 
Of your soft blue eyes 
Now haunts me 
As they stare at the bleached white ceiling above.  

But I can see the struggle behind those empty glass globes. 
Wanting to come back to us, 
To talk again, 
To see again, 
To live again.  
I know you can hear me, 
The beeping machines increase their pace 
As you try to swim to the surface
Of the black jelly that encompasses you.  
The effort frustrates both of us; 
Your will to live 
And my desire to see you survive.  

But only you can do this.  

And I will stand here, 
Watching your chest 
And fall
To the belabored hum of the ventilator, 
I'm not leaving 
Until you can come with me.

January, 2000

Nicole Peloquin's Questions:

1)Are my visual images strong enough?

2)Does the statement that the smell once comforted confuse?  Or does the eyes that once comforted?

3)Do I show and not tell the emotions and the hospital situation?

4)Is it something that everyone would be able to relate to or just the people who have had loved ones in such a dire situation?

Thank You

The Albany Poetry Workshop