Poem: “The Night Shift”


The Night Shift
True account of actual events

The night nurse quietly stood
Observing the man in her care
As he stared up at the ceiling.
She wondered what he saw there.
“What are you looking at, Larry?”
Her penlight lit up the space.
“It’s beautiful!” he exclaimed,
A smile on his weathered face.
Then he seemed to watch something,
As it apparently flew round and round,
Always returning to the ceiling.
The nurse watched him without a sound.

The next night Larry was looking
Back and forth toward the foot of his bed.
A sweet smile on his wrinkled face,
Intently watching, slowly turning his head.
“She’s here and she’s lovely”, he said,
His usually clouded mind crystal-clear.
“What is she doing?” the nurse inquired.
“Walking back and forth right over there!”
He spoke with the strength of conviction
This Catholic man filled with such faith.
He was not alarmed by his vision,
A knowing look on his wrinkled face.

The third night she was on duty,
His vision no longer paced about,
Now seated on the foot of his bed –
He believed this without a doubt!
Her patient had one last vision –
A sick man in the bed to the right
“His name is Larry” he told his nurse.
Then Larry breathed his last that night.
The night nurse drove home in silence,
Reflecting on the events of her week,
The glimpse of Heaven she’d seen
On the face of a man frail and weak.

Brenda Kay Farber


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