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By Imtiaz Dharker (1954–) With comment by John Birtwhistle

Your eyes open, silver

for one second, close.

Your hand stops, falls still.

You send me no more messages.

The machine by your bed

is saying prayers for you.

It keeps watch, tenderly interpreting

your body's needs.

It listens and records your every breath,

the turning of your blood, your heartbeat.

All night, all night, it pays …

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