Hospice Patients Alliance: Consumer Advocacy

A Fading Rose

by Ron Panzer
President, Hospice Patients Alliance
September 14, 2004

Fading rose,
Still beautiful,
   though only some see your beauty.

Still fragrant,
   though only some can appreciate you.

A petal falls,
   and then another.

I remember how you once were.
   how truly dazzling you once were.

Still holding your head so high,
   now, only with much effort.
   still turning to face the Sun.

Once so admired,
   everyone would stop to look.

Now, they hardly notice,
   they turn away.

Soon to be discarded.
   I too soon will be tossed away.

I walk among the living
   and am not even seen.
Visible? Of course!
   yet invisible I am.

I am still alive!
   I still yearn!
   I still feel!

I reach out.
   you reach out,
   but nobody cares to reach back.

I call out.
   you call out,
   but though their ears hear,
   they do not listen.

I speak my wisdom,
   but they do not heed my words.

I see ever more clearly,
   ... old as I have become.

So many stories I have,
   I would share,
   but no one asks.

No one even imagines
   I have anything to share.
   little do they know.

Visible? Of course!
   yet invisible am I.

Petals falling,
   I am still a fragrant rose,
   a fading rose.

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