The Silent Sigh of Hospital Sheets


They say she is dying. We listen with wrenched hands, tightening lips. The clock on the wall ticks, clicks its way into our worn brains, as if we don’t already feel its dwindling voice in our own heartbeats. Staccato syllables of medical babble fill the room, refuse to attach themselves to anything of meaning. We know she’s about to be heaven-bound and broken body-free, but we are left here wanting, waiting. Aching.


Night falls.
The moon flares a bright hole
in a world of sky.

for Bobi.
Prompted by thotpurge’s haibun monday at dVerse


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28 Responses to The Silent Sigh of Hospital Sheets

  1. This is so vivid and sad, the waiting for the inevitable in that hospital room juxtaposed to the haiku, the flaring of the moon… (love love that)… a wonderful and sad haibun

  2. Misky says:

    This is just heartbreaking. Heartbreaking, De.

  3. Grace says:

    The ache of waiting is palpable from ticking clock to the medical bauble ~ I love that haiku which gives your writing emotional depth:

    The moon flares a bright hole ~

  4. seingraham says:

    As always, De – you’ve woven magic aroundthe poignancy of a death-watch. I am particularly haunted by the “sound of the clock clicking into worn brains as its dwindling voice is already being “felt in our own heartbeats”. Just these few words hold such imagery, sound, and pure power – I felt tears start to my eyes, then realized it was recognition … so well done.

  5. thefeatheredsleep says:

    This is the most incredible piece of writing i had to read it three times.

  6. Such sadness… For some reason the idea of an afterlife rarely fills the space about to be left empty, especially when one is watching as a soul is leaving a body. And a group of doctors–of strangers–speaking emotionless lingo never helps, not even one bit.

    The imagery painted by your haiku speaks of the emptiness to come. So very sad.

  7. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Death watch, something my sister-in-law did with my wife’s 90 year old mother in July; the choking, gagging, twitching, fighting, eyes rolled back–never like in the movies, right? Your piece is brave, sad, & rife with truth. We talk of death being a doorway, been those last few steps seem to being in a hurricane.

  8. The moon comforts too, huh? I love this, De!

  9. steph says:

    I hope when my time comes I have someone aching for me like this. Beautifully rendered.

  10. Mary says:

    You have expressed so well the agony, the sadness, the pain of being with someone at the end. At that time there is really little comfort to be had.

  11. Excellent De, having been in that situation I thought you captured it so very well.

  12. thotpurge says:

    A bright hole in a world of sky… beautifully written. Loved it.

  13. Waltermarks says:

    The moon says wordlessly what cannot be declared by the wisdom of man, and leaves us with a great deal more radiance. Very thoughtful haiku!

  14. “the moon flares a bright hole” – such vibrant description, De. Love it!

  15. Miss Stacy says:

    i feel the sadness…seeping like moonglow.
    love how well the haiku takes things to a new height, the moon swallowing the sky.

  16. kim881 says:

    The sorrow is enhanced by the contrast between the ‘Staccato syllables of medical babble’ and the beautiful haiku. Amazing writing, De.

  17. lillian says:

    So vivid. Having been in this place, but blessedly so many angels along the way that my love was brought back to me…I truly FEEL this piece. Your haiku adds a gentleness to its emotion.

  18. Shawna says:

    I’m sorry you’re losing your friend.

    I love this: “Staccato syllables of medical babble fill the room, refuse to attach themselves”

  19. So sad, yet so beautifully written.

  20. Very strong write. You outdid yourself.

  21. Hard to say you out did yourself in that your brilliance has no limit! I read your words and all I can say is… “YES!”.

  22. trishwrites1 says:

    this brought tears, De

  23. ihatepoetry says:

    My heart goes out to you and for you.

  24. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    This is all wonderful – title, prose section, and above all the beautiful haiku.

  25. Bodhirose says:

    The contrast of the first part with your haiku is palpable. I feel the pain and anguish in the first but the haiku holds some comfort and release. Gratefully my father was able to pass away at home with most of the immediate family present. He wanted so badly to come home and lasted just less than one day but it made it so much easier than being in a hospital. He went peacefully…

    My best to you, De.

  26. Amazing…this sacred moment of passing captured so vividly. Sigh. I love how the haiku, feels to me, like the moment of letting go. Beautiful.

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