Level 9

A few years ago my husband was critically ill and ended up in hospital full of drugs and hallucinating.  Patrick was in the bed opposite him, and Patrick died in the night.  Here is a poem written after listening to his descriptions of being close to death and heavily drugged.  I’m quite sure he would have been more accurate, but I hope I’ve captured some of it.


Level 9


Black cat under my bed

6 foot cockroach burrowing into the wall

The God of the Dead whispering at me

From behind the threshold.

And in the corner Patrick cries

‘On nurse, I need some,

Nurse I need some

Nurse I need some

What should I do?’

His eyes wide, like the cat under my bed,

His hands reaching, stretching,

The feeder cup just out of reach

Milky tea, now cold.

Nurse comes.  Hands on hips.

“Don’t want your tea, Patrick?

I’ll take it away then”.

And Hades laughs.

“This is hell”, he groans.

“We’ll take Patrick first,

Then perhaps you’d like to join us”.

They cover my face to stop me fighting

And Patrick dies, with no tea.

So near the sky.  So very high

Which way to go? Up or down,

Or stay?  Take the mask away

Take the mask away

Let me breath and stay

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