Sonnet I: A Traveler of the Sea
I strode down hallways, winding ‘round to meet
A sailor old and take to him his meal.
A gentle bounce in every step on beat,
This home to many always builds my zeal.
His room I entered — knocking first of course —
And said then, “Mister Harold, pleased to meet!”
He turned to greet me, smiling, voice so hoarse.
“Hello, hello, my child! What’s good to eat?”
I spoke with him as fast an hour elapsed.
I heard his “hist’ry,” all about the sea,
Before he sat to finish his repast.
I queried Nurse Noëlle of things to be.
“A textbook glioma consuming his brain,”
She sighed. “One that now will not rest, nor refrain.”
Sonnet II: Ashore with His Child and Wife
He raised his head so weak and smiled at me
As I approached the man I came to serve.
“It’s great to see you, young’un,” perked up he.
“A lovely day,” observed he, full of verve.
His lucid state — relief for those near him —
And speech intact did make me feel at ease;
This sailor old was dear, a priceless gem.
“You know, I miss the warmth, the light, the breeze.”
He asked about my dreams and future road.
He asked about my quest for doctor’s oath.
I answered lithely, spoke of seeds I sowed.
“My family guided me, allowed my growth.”
“I see your shore: a bright and wondrous life,”
He beamed. “Like my own child and loving wife.”
Sonnet III: Waning Vitality, Waxing Courage
Delir’um boasts a state that’s hard to stand:
Its veil concealing all the face and soul.
I greeted him and shook his clammy hand.
He glanced at me — the cancer taking toll.
I took my place with him at his bedside.
I saw it: clear disease process at work.
His vacant stare did chill me, deep inside.
A pang of sadness stabbed me as a dirk.
He rubbed his head with such a trem’lous hand.
The tumor grown and drugs galore did cloud
A mind once sharp, alive, profoundly grand.
They stripped his vigor, drained all his endowed.
“Don’t worry, Mister Harold, I’ll return.
Tomorrow, six o’clock, we’ll chat and churn.”
Sonnet IV: An Asylum for the Caring
Away was I when fast his breathing ceased,
Away at home when ere he did contend.
A burning candle marked a life released
More than a cerement ever could portend.
The vigil over, knew I he had passed.
A nurse so kind embraced my shoulders cold,
And there I stood, still caught within a blast.
She handed me a candle lit to hold.
We solemn few then entered hallowed space
And soon prepared his form to be retrieved,
Concealing well his vessel left, his face,
Beneath a sheet opaque — the sleight achieved.
That evening moon, that candle’s flame,
The peace I felt, an empty room now tame.