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hospice

2020 Contributing Writers Pandemic Poetry

Dead Mother

Written by Debadrita Sur

I watched your mother take her last breath
I looked into her eyes as she struggled to eat last night
She wanted a glass of water
She cried when they refused- this made me laugh
They looked at me with pure disgust in their eyes.
“Have you no pity?” they spat.
I smiled in response to their hate.

I watched your mother take her last breath
It was exciting to say the least
As night fell, I saw her gasping for air
Reaching out to the nearest table, trying to grab the pump
I sat up on my bed, enthusiastic
She was finally being set free
From the dreadful shackles of life

I watched your mother take her last breath
But I felt no remorse
The ones next to me trembled in fear and said their prayer
While I looked straight into her ebony eyes
I do not know who she is, I do not know her name
I know not what she accomplished in life
What lies beneath that fragile frame.

I watched your mother take her last breath
She called out a few names
While the nurses shed tears and held her back
In my heart, I felt a tingling pain
I wonder who will watch me die
I wonder if someone will be there to write
How I tried to breathe for one last time

I watched your mother take her last breath
Horizontal lines bade her goodbye
They ripped out the pipes that supported her
They wrapped her in plastic before our eyes
Concealing her from the curious multitude
Treating her like the waste she is
Waiting to throw her in the nearby landfill

I watched your mother take her last breath
Sick and degenerate, we are nothing but junk
Clad in hazmat suits and gas masks
They are waiting for us to die
Even in my deathbed, I feel even more alive
To think you would give anything
To be here right now instead of me.

You are crying and screaming- where is your closure?
You were not allowed to see your mother- was it the fear of exposure?
I did: I saw her as she writhed, before being overcome by quietude
As they wheel me towards the ventilation room, silence overpowers me
Amidst the pipes and nozzles, a conceited smirk one can see
Your mother lies among millions dumped- what an ill fate
Yes, I was the one who watched your mother take her last breath.


Debadrita Sur is a 20-year-old student of English Literature at Presidency University, Kolkata. She is a serial procrastinator who dreams of traveling the world, swimming with sharks, and finding inner peace someday!