The Greatest Flame

You always said you worried
for the ones you'd leave behind
and what they had to go through
as they watched your health decline

I never fully understood
how you found the strength to fight
never once self pitying
though you had every right.

Never once did you complain
or state life was unfair
rejecting help because you felt
it better served elsewhere 

the tears you shed were selfless
for those who shared your fate
your empathy was endless
despite your weakened state

honoured to have known you
a Hero in my eyes
being both your friend and Son
for me, the greatest prize.

© Matthew Nicholson

cancerlossPoemreal liferemembrancerhyme

◄ Inhumane Treatment for the Sake of Existence

Sleep Peacefully At Last ►


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keith jeffries

Mon 13th Mar 2017 18:54

The Greatest Flame or should it be flames for there are more out there whose personal qualities come from that strong inner spirit of selflessness. A beautifully crafted poem Matthew. Thank you. Keith

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Dominic James

Wed 23rd Jul 2014 10:18

It didn't occur to me that phrase had its own emphasis. I take it all back! A good piece of writing Matthew, and best wishes for the push forward.

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Matthew Nicholson

Tue 22nd Jul 2014 21:44

Thanks for the kind words and feedback Dominic. Much appreciated.

In truth I am happy to leave the piece as is. I wrote it from an emotional viewpoint so tend to give less focus to structure. I feel changing it would detract from what I'm trying to say within it. It would somehow cease to be from me or about Mum.

This is a piece I have shared with family, friends and others from the support group I used to attend with Mum. It is a very personal piece but also one that will resonate with those who knew her; especially the 'fullness of her plate'

I wanted to share it on the blog here merely to push myself forward in trying to overcome certain barriers and finally express the difficulties with her three years with cancer. I've been holding it in for too long.


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Dominic James

Tue 22nd Jul 2014 14:01

A touching poem Matthew, if all sons could say the same, I daresay we'd all make better fathers. Perhaps the second last stanza might be re-worked, something like:
The tears you shed were selfless
despite your certain fate
your empathy was endless
for those who shared your plate... or something like that, I thought "fullness of your plate" gets in the way. Still, the right stuff.

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