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Katie ©

This is an old memory from me.
I was just a young lad helping an auld jute-mill worker come to the end of her days.

Graham Donachie
Victoria, Canada
2003

here,
in the lost gloom
in the moulding
stench of a midnight

room,
sounding the
rattle and terror
of death’s

last throaty battle.

she
lies, transfixed
wheezing croaking
pleading

but he not heeding her
sprawls useless,
across the couch
drunk in the stink

of his own decay.

as if
life were still young
she suddenly smiles
upon the face of her

beau,
but he snores on
oblivious to the final
chapter of her

journey.

she
lies in the ashes
of her life
and I.. the neighbour

light
her last gasp
her last smoke,
she holds my hand in a papery grasp

relishing the need

and
coughs upon the
enjoyment of it
in her cot 'mongst the

dying
embers of a weak flame fire
and eases gently
my hand from hers

for she is no longer here.



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