The Death Bed

The Death Bed

- by Lucy Hinton, 2012, inspired directly by a video recording of the words of John O'Donohue


There is no place like a death bed

Apart from a birth bed

And in a way, the death bed is a kind of birth bed

And what a tremendous place it is

If a person has really lived their life

In their own inimitable way

Be they cripple or jewel thief, grower or gambler

Lover, servant, poet or monk

And what a tragic place it can be

If that person never lived the life they carried inside them

Instead postponing it, beset by the expectations of others

And their own anxieties and indecisions

Always waiting for a future time to inhabit their own stride

And suddenly here is the eve of their death

And their sad, lonesome eyes

Are looking back on the life that they have squandered