I asked my patient,
“How are you, my friend?”
As his tired hand rested in mine.
We have a history of many visits,
Many thoughtful words…
“I’m dying, you know,” he said softly,
His voice rough with the years
Of hard work and prayer.
“But it’s Ok. It’s Ok.”
We sat in a quiet and friendly silence
As we listened to the birds outside,
The hum of the electric fan oscillating back and forth
In a buzzy counterpoint.
I hummed a quiet hymn or two,
Letting my voice wrap him in the sounds of his faith.
He dozed in the soft, fading light,
Then stirred and asked,
“Can you read to me from the Good Book?
Where we left off?”
And so I did, holding his hand,
Reading in Matthew 5
“Blessed are the poor in spirit…”
“My daughter,” he said,
Her spirits is pretty poor.
She’s closer to Heaven than I am.”
I looked at him, emaciated, wheezing slightly,
Leaning back in his easy chair,
Content and at peace.
“Aren’t we all needing Heaven the most
When our hearts are hurting and our spirits are low?”
He nodded sagely, smiled at me, and closed his eyes.
Then he drifted off, both of us contented and comforted
From our heart to heart talk.