Asparagus Soup

 Writers' Pantry #74 


She lay in the strange bed,

lines in her arm,

tubes in her nose,

knowing she’d never go home,

and by now not even wanting to.

An independent woman,

relying on others was never on her table.


I fed her asparagus soup,

her last meal,





listening to the slight slurp as her

thin, dry lips

struggled to pull it in.



I held her

thin, dry hand

as her breaths grew



slower still,

and wondered,

just how slow

a breath could go

before stopping altogether.


I didn’t know she liked asparagus soup

enough to select it as her last

off the hospital menu.

I didn’t know she liked it at all. 



©2021 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved


  1. Guess its all about living to the last breath with thanksgiving for life and sharing
    Very beautiful and stirring.
    Happy Sunday


    1. She did that, then told me she was done. I'm glad her doctors listened to her, and could do what she wanted.

  2. A very poignant poem. Makes me tear up as my mum is in hospital atm

  3. I have sat by a number of friends and relatives dying in hospital. It is not a happy occasion but one I have never regretted having held their hands for the last time.

    1. It wasn't easy, but I wanted her to know I was still there.

  4. Touching. My brother's last meal was hospital ice cream goop and I helped him eat it. I always regret that he asked for more and there was still a little left but I didn't give it to him thinking all that sugar wouldn't be good! I didn't know it would be his last meal I learned a lot from that.

    1. I understand that regret. On the Thanksgiving before my mother died, I brought all the food to her house, and she asked for "those little onions." I don't ever remember "little onions" at Thanksgiving, and we always had the same menu each year. So, when I saw jars of pickled onion, tiny onions, "little onions," when I was getting the green olives stuffed with almonds (always those!) I thought I'd found them! No, afterwards she told me it was creamed onions. Creamed onions? I didn't know there were such things, and we had NEVER had them! I still feel bad about her not getting them at her last Thanksgiving.

  5. Such a tender write. The feeding of soup is a poignant act and the slowing of breath --just beautifully written

  6. What a treasured memory, those last moments. It is good to say goodbye with no words left unsaid ... and asparagus soup too, of course!

    1. I am not sure there were no words left unsaid, but none that would have mattered by then.

  7. This is beautiful ... I would imagine she loved asparagus soup as you were the person feeding her. Your poem reminds me of the hundreds of times I fed my mother ...... sigh.

    1. Thank you. She wouldn't have wanted me to feed her more than this once. I think she knew it would only be once.

  8. Replies
    1. Both thank you, and I'm sorry for that. I guess I meant it to, since it hit mine and stayed with me.

  9. Very touching, Lisa. The asparagus soup would be easy to swallow provided it
    was the consistency of tomato soup. I am sorry for you loss, a lot are grieving
    this season of the pandemic. Mrs. Jim lost her sister and our daughter lost
    her husband. None of the family was allowed in the hospital to tell their close
    ones goodbye. We also lost Mrs. Jim's cousin, she was 100 years old and died
    at home. We stayed with her for a week about a week before she died. She had
    strange food requests also.
    Thank you for peeking in on me and for your nice comment.

    1. Yes, it was a thick comforting consistency. I am so sorry for your losses, made harder by not being able to be with your loved ones. My heart goes out to you both, especially your daughter. I lost my husband to pneumonia when he was 47.

  10. A sad reality . Always loved her and held her hand as she lay dying...I think this would be a comfort for her...Sorry for your loss..take care !

  11. a very touching and poignant poem.
    this reminds me of the times i was feeding my mother soft porridge at the hospital. yes, and those thin, dry hands...

    1. Sometimes I look down at mine and notice the skin is thinning, but mine will never be thin, I have very fat fingers!

  12. Replies
    1. Thank you. I must say, "finding" you over here was a bit confusing! When there are cross-overs between blogs it's always surprising to me! YOU belong there! Not really, I'm glad you came over here!


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