he died on his terms
Many thanks to Darren J Beaney for his excellent offering. Darren is currently undertaking a Masters Degree in Creative Writing at the University of Brighton. A passionate poet, Darren’s work has appeared in anthologies such as ‘For The Silent’ which supports the work and aims of the League Against Cruel Sports. We are very thankful that Darren has decided to share his talents with us.
His last days were taxing, long black nights demanding. Living
a hopeless condition so brutally cruel,
wearing him down, rubbing him out. Consumed
He didn’t suffer fools and refused to suffer the complaint,
in his way accepting the disease, carrying
its mass without grievance. Never a moan
just got on with it.
With the cancer
his final malady.
My lasting thoughts of him ail me. Bearing final witness
to a great man slowly passing, slipping away.
Barely able to smile at those gathered
But still strong enough to briefly squeeze trembling hands.
Still aware enough to hide the pain, the fear. Tough enough
to whisper haunting words of love and assurance.
Still proud enough to retain his stature
as head of the clan.
to wear a brave face, masking sunken eyes, and hollow checks.
I remember he died on his terms, well the best
he could negotiate. His final act
of defiance, disobedience
toward that disease –
an audacious act in the face of death. The ultimate
show of strength and resolution! In his armchair.
With his forever faithful friend sleeping
by his sporadically tapping feet.
a large scotch, in a clean glass, in his skeletal left hand.
Smoke from his last cigarette chasing the lazy
jazz notes that crowded the air. His children
cheering for him
as he danced away.
Darren J Beaney, Brighton
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