“Echoes – for Joan” by Judy Shepps Battle


Judy Shepps Battle has been writing essays and poetry long before retiring from her career as a psychotherapist and sociology professor. Judy is a New Jersey resident, addictions specialist, consultant and freelance writer. 


Echoes – for Joan

by Judy Shepps Battle

Keen mind tries to understand
but human actions have no logic
and some consequences are final.

She died a week ago
nine days after ending treatment
entering hospice and going
home to wait.

Left on my answering machine
her last words are succinct

just want to tell you I am
still alive and I love you

Her grainy voice whispers
struggling and out of breath
but I hear the benediction

the prayer for God’s blessing
couched in sadness that our
relationship ended when

both of us were healthy
but neither could be what
the other needed.

She sleeps most of that final
time, not eating and unable
to answer my phone calls.

I’m told that the messages
I leave pierce the coma
and bring a faint smile
to her pale lips.

But I never will know for sure.


More of Judy Shepps Battle’s work as a freelancer and poet can be found on her website, writeaction.com

Do you have poetry, short stories or essays that you’d like to publish on IMBH? If so, visit our submissions page to learn how you can be the next Half-Baked contributor.


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