About the Poem

By the Palliative Care Team
Summa Health System
Akron, Ohio


Even though it hurts,
even though she just died,
hold the vision—
the ferns frosted and brown,
the spinach birthing through soil.

Hold the tender cheeks of a baby,
soft and kissable.

Hold the tight, can’t-let-go-of hugs.

Hold a tear on the lower lid.
An eye desperately avoiding mine.
An unwanted mass.
Hard, stuck, life-sucking.

Hold the hand that refuses to let go.

Hold the heart wide open,
ready to listen and feel.

Hold the hours of knowing,
the difficult, “you're dying.”

Hold all the goodbyes
that bring us to another hello.