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Poem: Separated By A Curtain

By: Kimberly Potter Kendrick


She was in the next bed
Only separated by a curtain

Awakened early by a nurse
Briefly checking on the woman
Four appeared
I could hear them
Listening for breath
Feeling for the woman’s pulse
On the other side of the curtain

Promptly, family arrived
Another curtain drawn
Although quiet music I played,
nonetheless I could hear
The family spoke sweetly to the elderly woman
“Mom, can you hear me?”
“Mom, are you in pain?”
“Mom, try to take a sip of water.”
A family gathered for their last moments with her
Separated by the curtain were we

Three hours passed until the woman took her final breath
Until family members’ tears flowed
I silently cried too
Only separated by the curtain

Never before had I heard someone die
I listened as a priest gave last rites
I lie motionless as the funeral home carried the woman’s body away

Complete sadness
I didn’t even know her
Separated only by a curtain
My life she impacted
Sounds of death
Not simply forgotten


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