#i can’t do this anymore

I can’t do this anymore, I say,

as I hold onto her hand and lie there,

breathing,

convulsing,

living.

I can’t do this anymore, I say,

as she squeezes my hands, whispering,

I am here, darling, I am here.

I can’t do this anymore, I think,

I can’t continue to be a burden

that you can’t share with anyone,

or even just to be released from the lifetime jail

that this disgusting, monstrous disease puts you in.

Mother, I can’t do this anymore, I can’t do this anymore.

And I can’t also bear the thought that

as I lie there, thinking of giving up,

you have to force yourself to push me through.

You smile at me and say, I’m here, darling, I’m here –

Your eyes are glistening with tears

but you don’t let it drop.

You’re strong, I must admit, bearing on your shoulders

a husband who abused you,

a daughter who floats,

and a daughter who stays but barely passing through.

I’m here, darling, I’m here, you say,

but that’s not what I need mother.

I’m here, hush, darling, hush, you say,

but will that ever help your burden grow lighter?

I’m here, come on, it’s your mother, you say,

as you stroke my face while my breath

and my will to live are leaving me.

My soul tries to hold onto your rough, callous hand;

but my body refuses to do anything

other than hurting you.

I can’t do this anymore, mother, because

all I ever wanted to do was to make you happy.

I can’t do this anymore, but mother,

your callous hands,

your tired eyes,

your gray hair and

your weakening legs –

keep me pushing hard and passing through.

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