The sparkling ringtone lifts me up
It’s from the care home where she stays
Our talks, though brief, refill my cup.
But no. “She’s passed.” Or some such phrase.

The jagged ringtone crashes in
It’s from the care home where she stayed
That day, nurse held her calming hand,
She went in peace, no pain, just peace,
And not afraid.

The turgid gloom of grief and loss
Lifts, allows a trembling light
To know, as she stepped off her throne
My queen, though dead, was not alone.


© squiddlydee 2023
UKA Editor's Pick!
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critique and comments welcome.
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Made me cry. Very near home having sat at my mum’s bedside as the day gave way to twilight in late spring.

Beautiful poem full of contrasts,

The uplifting ringtone so desired

the jagged ringtone crashes in

It has all in one fell swoop taken on a new dimension.
The last stanza is gut wrenching in its beauty

The turgid gloom of grief and loss
Lifts, allows a trembling light
To know, as she stepped off her throne
My queen, though dead, was not alone.

Incredibly moved. Thanks for sharing.
Alison x


Please don’t be sorry. I should have made it clearer, this was the year before lockdowns. I wanted to be with my mother when she died and she knew that but she held on time and time again then slipped away once I had left. From my years in nursing I can attest that just as some desire and hold on until their loved ones are there…there are others who choose to leave when their loved ones are not beside them Almost a last act of caring concern. I can also attest to the frequent other-worldly peace and often joy… Read more »


Don’t know what to say, if I say heartbreaking, it’d seem so hollow. But I could experience the loss of my mother in the verse of yours. Thank you for sharing it.


A really brilliant and emotive rendering.
For me it was a mirroring, because I was with my mother at her passing, and I know she ‘hung on’ until I arrived – and then chose to leave on what was my dad’s birthday.
I tell you this not to detract from your own personal story, but to demonstrate how your work holds great power over your readers emotions.


That such a tiny particle can produce so much global change – and suffering – is in itself humbling, I feel. I concur with your thoughts about nurses and carers (and doctors too) performing one of life’s must compassionate acts – which by its very nature is an act of love – is the essence of humanity. Congratulations on the ‘pick’: Well deserved.


This poem hits home for me right now as i am set to go through this with my 84-year-old mother. Has a calming effect.


Yes, perfectly conveys its message – thank you. I’m going through a rough patch at the mo. Got a funeral Tuesday, and a friend just diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour; another maybe the same – but doctors think it may be just depression. Your poem meant a lot to me squiddlydee.



Thanks for the good words; you know what they say – cheer up things could be worse; so I cheered up – and sure enough things got worse. And I’ve rune out of whisky!!!!

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