Friday, May 30, 2008



I don’t know the medical term for it
but she’s got some kind of fluid
bubbling up in the back of her throat.

Her already strained breathing is
clouded further
by the froth and bubbles that
she’s trying to breathe though.

We wonder if this is maybe just part of the process
or if we can do something about it
to make her more comfortable
like we promised we would do.

Ruth left a vacuum-type thing
Like something you’d use in a dentist’s office
with a suction hose.

So I turn it on and it makes
a loud whirring sound
overcome only by the
whirring sound of the oxygen machine that is still
rasping in the corner.

We clear some of the fluid
but there’s more below that
and the suction won’t clear it out.

So I turn off the machine
and make her more comfortable
by touching her face and
holding her hand.

Listening to her and
watching her struggle makes
my own breath feel tight.

I hope, in agony, that she knows
and feels, that we’re doing our best.

-Leah Costello

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