Two Poems by Stephen House

Updated: Feb 26, 2020


after lunch

my eighty nine year old mother

asks me to hold a pillow over her face

and not take it off until she is dead

even if she kicks and struggles

she says:

i’m happy

i’ve had a wonderful life

but i can barely walk

i’m tired and ready to go

please help me

i say:

i can’t do that mum

i won’t

we cry

after a few minutes we laugh

so hard

that tears come again

the next day i go to see her

she asks me to strangle her

i refuse

we laugh

and then drink coffee and talk

about all kinds of things

including old age

living and dying

and legal euthanasia

mum has not asked me to kill her lately

i’m sure it’s because she knows i won’t do it

although we have laughed about it

my mother has a terrific sense of humor

she says i do too

i think got it from her

i will never be ready for mum to go