Death Bed


Deathbed can be a lonely place
Even with your family around you
Tearing one by one, while silent prayers
Levitate through little chimneys of the heart.
You feel the exasperation of knowing
The last bout of gas that passes through the air sacs
Might be the next or the one after
When your inhale sounds like sucking slush up a straw
As the windpipes wheeze in a little
Packet of oxygen, just to open the eye lids
Or to make the sides of the mouth
Form a little floatation, a smile,
And your exhale is a little moan of the upper throat
That expends a miserly supply of oxygen
Circulating through the pulmonary arteries.
Then you, the old man on the bed, will dream
Of angels descending from the heavens
To take you to a proverbial better place
Not knowing they are just pallbearers with wings, ferrying souls
To a courtroom, where your whole life
Will be replayed in slow motion
Till your soul is paroled
Hopefully to soar and not sink.


Author: meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, American Journal of Poetry, Kitaab, Eastlit and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

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