Enduring darkness

With lights all around me I had never known such darkness

As I rushed with fear and terror to the room where you lay

Held up strong by my sister weighted down by what she had seen

I will never forget those steps through the corridors of pain

Wanting to see you so, but afraid of what I’d see

The place where your time ended; mine changed forever

But the darkness had already overcome you

Before you were taken there

No one lit the way for you but left you all alone

When you were most frightened and needed kindness the most

The darkness within them will never go away

For what they did to you, they will one day have to pay




To go back

To see you again, to hold your hand

To walk with you through the corridors of time

To soothe your fear, to hear you speak

I long for it


But what a cruel pleasure it would be

to see you suffer, the remnants of you

left hanging – your illness taunting you

Dipping in and out of sanity


But to see you – even just so

And the chance to hold you, to say goodbye

Is one right we have been denied

There’s no pleasure in neglect

There’s no pleasure in their failure of care

Just enduring pain at how you were treated so


Coming up for air

Lost in the chaos of grief

No way out, no reprieve

Sucking you down – you hold your breath

Waiting to be free of this enduring tide

Of raw emotion, pain and fear

I come up for air but I am left behind

Life has moved on but cast me aside

The sea of grief has ebbed but the clouds have moved in

Closing down around me – so grey and so dim

I gasp and I choke – I stumble and falter

I claw and I fight to push myself out of the water

A glimmer of sun bursts through the clouds

and reminds me of the me that I left behind

A year and a month since you went away

I try to move forward but stumble and fall

I wish you were here to pull me free

To tell me what to do so I can see through the clouds



You come to me with your friendship

Stretched out in front on a plate

Well I nearly fell for it

But it’s way too little too late


Have you no idea, no respect for how I feel

Of all that you have taken?

Left with nothing – not knowing what to do

Because you are selfish? Greedy? No way of fighting

For what is right and true?


Yes, you are weak – well my ‘friend’ I am strong

I do not want your crumbs of self pity and destruction

I will find my own way but will stay true

To everything I value…

Yet with some ambiguity

That also includes you


Yes I am strong, but I also have a heart

So my fair-weather friend,


The anger will subside but will forgiveness come?

Can we mend the weakness that has driven us apart?



365 days on

I sit on the eve that you went away

Pensive of what tomorrow brings

Memories that I fight to distil

Of the pain numbed by time


365 days have passed now

I quash memories so I can continue on

of how you were hurt and left to die

alone, afraid, no one giving a damn


I feel part mended, I block the thoughts

But in some moments I cannot escape

The anger, the pain – it lies deep within

How cruelly you were treated, your suffering


Tomorrow beckons nearer

I do not know what to do

how to face the memories of a year ago

Of the morning when they took you


Corridor of dreams

I closed my eyes; you held my hand

Strong and warm, you held me safe

We walked and walked through the corridors of my dreams

Holding hands – just you and me

No nurses, no confusion, no pain

Together but not quite free


As I stirred you went away

How I long to see you so much today

You gave me strength for a little while

Warm memories of how you used to be

Fused with reminders of your suffering

The pacing, the enclosure, no space to be free


My tears fall as I write this poem

I want to set you free…

But I want the dream back, the pain to go away

Tell me you didn’t suffer, that you are okay

So come and hold my hand, dad,

One more time, just you and me


25 February 2016

@ Cathy Parnham 2016

Without permit

via Daily Prompt: Permit

Who gave you permit to leave him alone, dying

What right did you have to make that decision?

Accountable for so many vulnerable people

Left alone, when he needed you the most

I did not give you this permit – this permission

Yet you got any with this – permitted to continue your life

When you took that of someone so dear to me

Who are you accountable to – if the law allows this?


No peace

I have no peace while you walk free

No resolution – nor retribution – for what you took from me

You write you are sorry for what you failed to do

Easy words disguise your lack of humanity, of human kindness

For those in your charge, so vulnerable and frightened

You have been set free, retrained, deemed fit to work

Lucky you

Where is the justice that allows this to happen?

Where is the justice when there is no law

To punish you for what you failed to do?

Where is the justice that allows you to walk freely

Where is my justice for what you took from me?

I have no peace while you walk free


It’s a fine line

What did you think, as he lay there dying

The power of life in your hands but death beckoning

Only you walked that line between living and dying

Your decision, your choice – just moments in time


You left him alone, turned your back

It’s a fine line you trod between conviction and freedom

One more fault and you would have stood guilty

But today you are free while we are haunted by what you didn’t do


You say you are sorry, you feel remorse

Empty words are easy to write for the price of freedom

I will never forgive you; guilty you stand before me

Guilty of neglect; of lack of caring

Guilty of turning your back; guilty of not fulfilling your role, your duty of care

Guilty forever for what you failed to do

It’s a fine line you walked that day


The decision

How do I know there is nothing more I can do?

Is it time to let things go

Without ever knowing what they did to you?

Leaving you alone, cold – no way back


The solitary journey you took with no comfort or kindness

We couldn’t be there to set you free

A cruel denial of your rights, your dignity

Should I call a line – move forward and not look back?


Can I fight for you one last time?

Do I have the strength to try again?

What will be the price I have to pay

For truth – your justice, my peace within?


Too Late

As darkness circled round and drew you in much nearer

Did you call for us – did you hold on for us before your final journey?

Did you waive goodbye through the images of your life?

I felt you leave us but I was nowhere near

I spoke goodbye but did you hear?

I called your name as you moved from life to death

But you had already left me before I stood before you

In shock and disbelief – I called you daddy, I called your name

Did you hear me, did you hear my pain

As the storm raged inside me, I held your hand

I kissed you – I stroked your face

Too late