Poem of the Week | In limbo by Angela Washington

In limbo

by Angela Washington

Curled up in bed 

a tiny shrunken foetal figure 

white hair on white pillow 

her body scarcely there 

swamped by white covers

still as death 

 

in limbo 

stuck 

in a no man’s land 

hovering on a threshold

waiting 

for a resolution. 

 

Strange 

how such a small wasted waif of a creature 

is still able to dominate a space so completely 

and utterly

just by being there 

no change there then 

 

impossible to tell 

if she’s conscious 

of my presence

the daughter 

who should have been a son

she never got over that

 

would she want me here if she knew?

impossible to tell 

can she look back?

does she have regrets?

was she happy with her life?

with the decisions she made? 

 

would she have changed anything 

if she could

I wonder?

this woman 

who bore me 

and I 

are strangers in the most elemental of ways 

 

cagey closed compliant 

in her final years 

a grand master of obfuscation before that 

I’m still intrigued to know 

what makes her tick 

this woman. 

 

I took my leave 

briefly 

that sunny Sunday morning

promising to return 

after lunch. 

 

Curled up in the bed 

she’s a tiny shrunken foetal figure 

white hair on white pillow 

her body scarcely there 

swamped by white covers

still in death. 

 

Did she know? 

was she waiting for me to go?

so, on her own terms, she could take her leave?

 


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Cover photo by Zwaddi on Unsplash

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