Is goodbye before hello?

by John (@bookdreamer)
(Bristol, UK)

I saw her
before she died,
curled and crunched
between cot bars,
a life
slashed and shorn
with cropped head,
more idiot slavering
then Belsen starved.

It was a time for ritual tears,
the moment of forgiveness,
when the angel smiled.
Some other movie,
another bed.

I was a stranger,
compassion not love brought
me to her side
in a town and life
unwanted and never lived
in waking-time.

Her real children,
the ones she kept,
could take her home
to wait for death.
Yet on the way
who was loved most?
I was free, they were not,
they loved
and lost

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