February 2, 2023


Writer's Showcase


2 min read



“Can you see Fred, Rita?”
Were the only words spoken.

The caring nurse said them
Whilst I was consumed
by a torrent of tears
My eyes shed with shame.

My frame was rocked by
That final breath she took
As she left my World.
I should have been strong,
My spiritual understanding
Should have held my hand
In just the way I had
mentally held hers…
tucked beneath the crisp
White hospital sheets.

Instead I had stroked
Her smooth cool forehead.
Such gentle stroking
Hopefully imparting peace
And helping remove fear.
Here was the fated comma
Preceding ‘goodbye’ full stop.

These were her life’s
Final moments, predicted
By the doctor who had called
And advised me to come.

I hung on that doctor’s words,
And dared to whisper
She should not fear death
She should just ‘let go’
Her struggle, her past,
The pains she’d endured,
Her life long story
Now come to an end…
A new story just beginning.

She must have heard me.
She must have listened,
Even fully understood,
For there was no drama,
Nothing to mark the moment
Save for no new breath
following the last.


© Allen Ansell 2022


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6 thoughts on “NO NEW BREATH

  1. I can only repeat what I commented on PoetBay, when you posted there Allen:

    ‘Yes. The sad mystery of death, and how we cope with it. To me this poem came in one flow, and all the better for that. And I liked the ending. As always Allen a thoughtful and moving piece.’

  2. Departure from this world is never easy to imagine, it is a painful experience for relatives and loved ones. The words spoken here are literal and actual feelings, the good wishes for the departed soul.

  3. It is a very moving poem allen, the way you have shared your experience of losing a loved one is commendable. The use of imagery conveys the raw emotions and intensity of the moment. The description is poignant. The idea of death as a transition and a new story beginning is also beautifully conveyed. It is greatly written that I could feel all your emotions through it.

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