I am left with my own sounds and the ticking of the clock.
Every swallow is a gurgle and I breathe hoarsely, sucking air in and out – breaking the silence.
Occasionally I hear a plane overhead and one bird – a robin I think, shrieking out its warning to rivals.
There is a strange silence otherwise.
Yesterday was a Sunday and a stream of weekly visitors teemed through the house.
Their cacophony of living noise trespassed on my usual dreams.
Sally, whose mother sends her good wishes and Jane who wondered how I hadn’t heard about Mrs So and So – poor soul,
Bringing the dead to the dying without a thought.
They mean well but it’s difficult to find things to say to an old woman who rarely leaves the house.
And then the boys, gawky teenagers, voices dropping and then rising suddenly to a high-pitched squeak- embarrassed that manhood is not quite there.
Their unwieldy bodies knocking over the water jug and filling the room with hormonal sweat.
Their mother ushers them outside with whispered warnings about a dying woman.
But we are all dying.
Who knows if before I take my last breath
One of you may not cross the road and know no more.
I listen to the silence growing closer and the intermittent rattle in my chest. I shall not get up today to open the curtain and welcome the day.
I shall not bid my neighbour good morning or answer the telephone when it’s shrill ring pierces my consciousness.
Rather I will lie here, still, unmoving in my cocoon.
I welcome the silence of aloneness.
I look forward to thinking no more.
Although I will not take responsibility for my own end, I shall welcome it.
I have regrets but I do not dwell on them. What is, is and shall be evermore.
But I have learned not to make too much of failures.
Hurt pride does not easily give a peaceful heart without forgiveness of self and others.
There is a persistent rattle in my throat and an overwhelming heaviness makes me smile as everything slows down to my pace.
S L O W L Y my senses leave me in silence
Til all I know is the smell of death –
And a rushing in my ears like water over a steady waterfall.
I am falling through a cold, refreshing current as this torrent washes over me and I swim forward; down and deep
Diving towards the light beneath the pool.
I am ready.
These words and photo are copyright to Englepip© 25th May 2017