Nursing Touch


Another time
Before shift's close
I'll check in
On dear Fred.
And give a smile.
And squeeze the hand.
And tuck him into bed.

His left arm limp;
His left cheek drawn;
His speech now
Slow and odd.
And few have come.
And few have cared.
Oh use me now, dear God.

A businessman
He was 'til late.
And numbers
Ran his life.
And midnight oil
And corporate climb
Had cost him home and wife.

Is he asleep?
Though bedside lamp
Illumes the
Quiet nook?
The half-sipped juice.
The handy-wipes.
The dark blue Gideons' Book.

My first steps heard.
He slowly turns.
And just as
Slowly grins.
His good right hand
Wipes back the tear:
"I thought...you might drop in."

I touch his arm.
I pull the sheet.
I'm desperate
For some word.
The Testament
Is open yet,
At Psalms, One hundred-third.

I take the Book,
Approach the light,
And sit beside
My friend.
And one more time
Recite those words
Of mercy without end.

Of God who knows
Our darkest trait,
Our hardest
Pain to bear.
But still forgives
That we might live
Forever in His care.

I click the lamp.
I must withdraw.
His breathing
Now is slow.
Sweet dreams, my friend.
This too will end.
The Father loves you so.

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