Unanswered Questions

It’s summer– time to dabble more in poetry and try new things. In this spirit, I thought I would give Big Tent Poetry prompts a try. The prompt for this week was to write a “conversation poem”, and then post the link to this week’s Come One, Come All section.  This is my response.

Unanswered Questions

Is this the end of the line,
he asks her, and she hesitates.
Every day he is slipping away from her,
receding to some faraway place,
where she cannot follow.
He remembers events
from 50 years ago, clearly,
as if they were only yesterday,
but not what day it is,
or even what he had for breakfast.
If she says yes, is she denying him hope?
If she says no, is she lying to him?
I don’t know, what do you think, she asks,
but already, something else has caught his attention,
and the words hang unanswered between them.

12 thoughts on “Unanswered Questions

    • Thanks, Amy. Although it has been over two years now, I am still trying to make sense of the end of my parents’ lives. Nice to see you on another poetry forum. 🙂

  1. In my final conversation with my Mother,
    she asked me, “Is it time to give up?”
    I hesitated, just as you describe,
    but she didn’t loose her lucidity
    and waited patiently for a reply.
    I said, “No, maybe just let go a little.”

    I believe she heard me, understood, and did.

    Although my ending would be a bit different,
    your poem painted healing memories in my mind.
    Thank you for that.


    • Elizabeth,
      Losing a parent is such a traumatic time, and it’s hard to navigate those difficult decisions about when and how to let them go. Luckily hospice was there to offer us some guidance. It sounds like you handled things just right with your mom, and I hope that brings you comfort.


  2. I’m sorry for your losses. Thanks for bringing this to the Big Tent.

    The last lines are perfect — showing just how difficult it is to ask & answer the incredibly lucid question.

    The brevity of the poem works wonderfully, too, I think. Just enough to put the reader in the scene. And then those perfect lines.

    • Thank you, Deb. It was hard to have those conversations, there at the end. It made me realize that sometimes it’s not so much what you say, but just being there that matters the most in the end.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s