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Poem: The Hospice Nurse 

She waited for you, I tell you

though it was really me who waited

throughout this Easter blizzard

that will give this night a permanence in your mind

just as the weight of that wet snow

will forever bend the rhododendron

that held it like a god.


Go sit beside her, I suggest

because you are unsure,

like at the foot of any mountain path

that rises like a bookcase before you

it's easier if you've done this before

counted every step to the top

a stranger's story becomes your own.


We never discuss what's really happening

what we all do not want to want

but it's my eyes you'll keep like something stolen

that last look before I go

as if I had revealed to you how at the summit

the moment the mist clears

like your own breath before you, it's there,

it's always been there, the glorious old hotel

in ruins.

  • A poem by James Conrad.

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