© Brenda Joy

Winner, 2017 Bush Poetry Competition, Boyup Brook Country Music Festival, Boyup Brook, WA.
I am lying here beside you
     as your body’s wracked and heaving
     with your laboured, rasping breathing
          as you face the throes of death.
How I’ve prayed, as trials have tried you,
     for a deeper understanding
     but the hurt’s been too demanding.
          Now I wait your final breath.

While my heart is full of sorrow
     for I know we’ll soon be parting
     and the grief’s already starting,
          I am flooded by my tears.
With the dawn of the tomorrow
     I’ll be left behind without you
     and the things I’ve loved about you
          will be lost to lonely years.

No more joyful reminiscing
     of our sunlight days of laughter
     and our plans for ‘ever after’
          in our grey, nomadic years
Oh the closeness I’ll be missing
     on the farm and in our travels
     Now the thread of life unravels
          and my hopes have turned to fears.

My protective arms enfold you
     but your struggle’s all-consuming
     as the call of death is looming
          and survival forces wane.
Though my heart cries out to hold you
     with its beating I am bleeding
     tears of anguish.  I am pleading
          your release from earthly pain.

As the pastel dawn is breaking
     I can feel a peace ascending
     and your final battle’s ending.
          Now your body’s lying still.
Yet there can be no mistaking –
     I can sense your new-found glory
     as you start another story
          in attune with Spirit’s will.

Now I know you’re in God’s keeping.
     Though my tortured heart is grieving
     I’ll find solace from believing
          in the life that lies beyond.
So despite long years of weeping
     all the sorrows will be righted
     when once more we’re reunited
          through love’s everlasting bond.