All Poetry

The Hug.

Each word, a slap.
Each consonant, piercing.
Bursting in like a winter’s storm,
you permeated into our lives.

We wanted to help you,
but we only came to fear you.
Many shook their heads in pity.
Some avoided you.
Others talked about you.

Each gesture, scornful.
Each insult, stinging.
My attempts to talk to you
only seemed to anger you more.

You terrified me. Yet I yearned.
To see. To know. To understand.

I knew you were frustrated.
Your disease, unforgiving.
Slowly devouring. 
I knew you were discouraged.
Your body, powerless.
Slowly succumbing.

But why wouldn’t you let us care for you?

Each day, the same.
Each encounter, fruitless.
You turned us away again and again. 
Until one day I confronted you. 
I asked you why.
And you told me.

I know you don’t really care. This is only your job. 

My job.

It all made sense.
The bitterness. The coldness. The distancing.
I understood.

Stepping forward,
leaving behind the pride, the decorum, 

my arms enclosed around you.
The fear escaping my racing heart
only after you made a move to wipe your eyes.

You then collapsed into me.
My shoulder, an insulation
to the sound of choked sobs.

You never said a word.
But in your cry I heard your anguish.
I heard desolation.
I heard relief.

Things were never the same after that.

Your bitterness was gone.
Your words, softer.
Your eyes, warmer.
You allowed us to care for you, 
remaining strong even
as your disease progressed.

Until one day, like winter’s snow, 
the seasons beckoned for you to leave.
But even then, as you faded away,
you reminded me of the day everything changed–

The day I gave you the hug. 

47 replies »

  1. Reblogged this on richwrapper and commented:
    from WP-following JohnCoyote’s “read this” in my Reader. I FB-shared and reblogged as well. Thank you both., JohnCoyote and Puppydoc. And thanks most to that person who finally got and gave that hug.

  2. Wow! It’s hard to get a hug from some Doctors. And others a ritual! I think you are the kind of Doctor I’d like to have, because it’s not ‘just your job’!

  3. Awww!
    This brought tears to my eyes.
    It is very touching.
    Only a compassionate soul like you could have done this.
    May that departed soul rest well.
    Keep up the good work PuppyDoc.

  4. This is so sweet………….and it reminds me of something that the years since my Mother died had “erased” – which was a similar incident when my frustration at her not allowing me to help her with her care resulted in me just giving her a huge hug. It broke the barrier – she told me later she felt I was just doing things for her because I thought I “should” as her daughter……but the hug showed her it was because of love….she had Alzheimers and didn’t always “get” what was going on. Anyway, your poem certainly touched me…………..and gave me back a memory I’d tucked away many years ago.


  5. My initial reaction to a number of your poems was that you were clearly in the wrong profession but now ….. no …. you are clearly in the right profession. Keep up the writings. You have such beautiful things to say. 🙂

  6. That was so beautiful, Phoebe. I thought you might appreciate this post about encouraging others. There’s a video clip in there which is really appropriate xx Rowena

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