‘Morning Rounds’ – A poem by Dr Tilopa Chakraborty

Categories: Opinion and People & Places.

The Indian Association of Palliative Care celebrated this year’s World Poetry Day by publishing ‘A symphony of Words: A collection of poems‘ penned by our very own friends from the palliative care community. We continue to share a poem, each week, for our friends to enjoy!

The poem for this week, Poem #20 of 25..

‘Morning Rounds’ – A poem by Dr Tilopa Chakraborty, New Delhi, India

There are few things worse, than dying, child—
Dying in pain being one.
Every breath you take is a tired sigh
Making silent prayers for the beginning of the end.

Slow burn, bed rest, chronic pain—
In vain, you beg me to pull the plug,
As you lug, bravely, the weight of your own body.

You look at me beseechingly, standing by your bedside
As if I decide your future,
As though your fate lies enclosed, neatly,
In the morning notes that I write on the greasy hospital papers.

But I am no God, I never was, so all I do
Is sit by you, and give you some strength
For the rest of your journey.

Make no mistake, child, death is no vacation,
It’s the final destination, and it’s lonely.

But beauty, it exists outside your bed,
Outside the prospect of death, for,
Everybody dies, child, and no one knows what happens next.

And one day, we don’t know when,
It’ll all quiet down,
The noise around you, the noise in your head,
You’ll know it’s only a moment
Of silence before the storm.

The next morning, I’ll come for my morning rounds
And find you on the brink of a peaceful death.

I’ll shed a quiet tear when no one’s looking,
For after you go, as haunting as it is
I will never know where you go or what happens next.


About the poet:
Dr Tilopa Chakraborty is a first year resident of Community Medicine at The Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, with an interest in palliative care.

To read poems from the entire collection, please click here.

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