Gilberto sings to Cornelia.
By David Milligan-Croft.
Cornelia is 96-years-old,
With skin like crepe paper.
Her chest rattles like a percolator.
Her lungs have more fluid than oxygen.
Her arms are purple
From where they have drawn blood.
She sings between coughs.
Gilberto is a nurse
From Sierra Leone;
He loves to sing too.
He has sung in the church choir
Since he was 8-years-old.
Gilberto pulls up a chair
Beside Cornelia’s bed
And takes her bruised hand in his.
Softly, he begins to sing
Edelweiss to her.
Every morning you greet me.
Small and white
Clean and bright
You look happy to meet me.”
His voice is how I imagine
An angel might sing.
Until Cornelia’s gurgling stops,
And her gnarled fingers
*Edelweiss by Rodgers & Hammerstein from The Sound of Music.
για τη δέκατη μούσα μου
11 responses to “Gilberto sings to Cornelia – new poem.”
My heart is touched.
Thank you, Claudia. Mine is, that you like it.
Thank you 😊
Transcendent. I don’t know why, but the words of Alan Watts jumps to mind when reading your poem: “The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” Thx for sharing. Genuinely moved.
Wow, what a coincidence! I was only listening to that very same piece by Watts a couple of days ago. Maybe it, (along with the experience), unconsciously inspired the poem. Thanks for your kind words, they are very much appreciated. BW, David.
Each time I visit, I reread this piece. Such a lovely, poignant poem.
Thank you Kelly Louise, that really means a lot.