Typewriter Rodeo: Hospice

Each week, the Standard reaches out to Austin’s Typewriter Rodeo for a custom poem on Texas topics.

By Jena KirkpatrickDecember 1, 2023 12:57 pm, ,

We’ll all have unavoidable goodbyes on Earth. The details may be different but those left living will undoubtedly face big and complex and changing feelings. This Typewriter Rodeo poem offers one experience as an example.


we are buzzed in at the gate
in memoriam bricks pause
to recall the names
sage drifts out of room 111
her son quietly strums his guitar
near the bubbling pond
she has been here ten months
every day he visits wondering
is this the last time he will feel
the smooth warmth of her palm?
those hands that brushed back his hair
after a summer day jumping fences
everyone is defenseless to death
it’s somber notes hang in the air here
clear liquid morphine drips
memories collect these tender moments
left. she left
on an ordinary Tuesday
just after
the family left
I never think I have any more tears
as a gutteral howl stirs the nurses
they touch my back to offer me presence
remind me I’m still here
in this room that smells of rotting perfume
today, I became an orphan
so this Sunday
I will not be calling

a photo of the typewritten poem on a torn half-sheet of yellowish paper. it rests on a quilted background.


typewriter rodeo logoTypewriter Rodeo airs each Friday on Texas Standard. Send us your ideas for a poem on FacebookTwitter, or send us an email.

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