a poem by Anupama Pyarelal

I heard her short gasps of breath,
Saw her frail bosom,
Rise and fall ever so tremulously.
Her eyes were closed,
I doubt whether-
She knew I was there.
She was lost,
I think,
Somewhere in that space,
In between life and death.
I prayed she would live,
Come back and be well.
The truth was-
It was better for her,
To let go, to die.
She was nothing but-
An almost empty husk,
Her life source sucked out,
By old age.
I waited for her,
To die.
She went,
So quietly,
As if she had just fallen asleep,
After a long tiring evening;
Like an antique clock,
Covered with cobwebs and dust,
Running out of time,
For the very last time.
A hollow ache in my heart,
Tears threaten to fall;
I feel so cold and numb,
As I bend to kiss,
Her deceptively warm forehead.
I grieve her death,
But I know,
She is alright now,
Peaceful and happy,
Where she has gone.
It would be selfish of me,
Wanting her here,
Tied to machines,
Prodded and poked,
For reasons,
She never understood.