Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Coffee or cola, in half-light

She sits in the half-light, facing
the bed with its tubes, wires,
humming scanners, glucose
bags extended above, all
working or trying to work
in the general vicinity
of life, sustenance at least,
holding the cup offered
by the nurse, coffee or cola
murmured as a question
so softly, politely, and she
could only stare at the nurse
and then the bed, wondering
if he could survive the weight
and noise surrounding him,
unconscious but breathing,
and it seemed coffee or cola
had assumed an equivalence
to life or death and she couldn’t
choose, didn’t know how,
prayed that no choice was needed,
 so the nurse handed her
coffee, black, which sits
in her hands, turning cold
in the half-light.

At TweetSpeak Poetry, Seth Haines has a “Battle of the Beverages” poetry prompt this week, although I think he’s looking for something a bit more humorous than what I came up with. You can check TweetSpeak to see other poems submitted.

This poem is also submitted to dVerse Poets for Open Mike Night. The links will be live at 2 p.m. Central time today.


Brian Miller said...

coffee usually, but cola will work...i like how you tied that to much more serious questions as well for her...and what she got even now untouched...

Robbie Pruitt said...

Wow. . . . nice. . .

rumoursofrhyme said...

Coffee every time for me - I can't stand cola! You know, my poor wife was in a similar situation by my bedside just a few months ago.Your poem has given me a small insight into what that must have been like for her.

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

I've been in that situation . . . could so identify with the woman you've described here.
Beautiful and touching, Glynn,

Yiota Luyu Ladybird said...

Coffee or cola, life or death...In times like these, when a person you love is giving this fight, the only thing you can do is just sit with a cup in your hands realising you cant do anything more... Intense imagery on this poem, this is really a great piece.

Heaven said...

I neither like coffee or cola..so this was a sticky situation for me ~ In such a trying time, you wish you didn't have to make a choice, but often these choices are made for you ~

Wishing you Happy day ~

Megan Willome said...

In a hospital room with a loved one, the choice of coffee or cola can be absolutely overwhelming. You captured that.

L.L. Barkat said...

this part especially...

"and it seemed coffee or cola
had assumed an equivalence
to life or death and she couldn’t
choose, didn’t know how"

Gretchen Leary said...

Wow, you've got me teary-eyed here. Solemn moments like this are the hardest.

amyjosprague said...

What an insightful way to reveal the edge of fear. Incredible

Fred Rutherford said...

beautiful transference, I think that's the word I'm looking for, or perhaps substitution for how the choice between coffee or cola becomes this overbearing metaphor. Fascinating piece Glynn. Really like it a lot. Thanks

Alex Dissing said...

Loved the extended metaphor in this. Powerful images.

nance said...

Usually it is good to have choices. However, i can see in this that there are times when having a choice would not be a welcome thing at all.