Joan’s room


My sister Joan was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. During her time in hospital receiving chemo,I spent a lot of time in her room there. She loved to hear all the news about anything and everything. We chatted, joked and laughed about family, writing, food, the weather. We loved to give out about the hospital food, especially the mushroom soup…yeucch. She hated it. I’d bring in home made veg soup in a flask on mushroom soup day.Sometimes we just sat and watched t.v. together. She loved Home and Away. Ssssh don’t tell anyone 😛

When she came home, I’d still visit and we spent much of the time up in her bedroom. I’d hop under the duvet beside her and fill her in on all the gossip. She’d call her husband Brendan to bring us mugs of tea and biscuits. He always obliged. He’d do anything for her. We’d drink our tea and watch Home and Away.

Home and away

We’d talk about things we’d do when she got better. Go shopping, visit mammy, book a holiday in Spain,walk on the beach in Summer Bay.We’d plan visits to our sister Dee in Oxford. We’d go for walks through the poppy fields and have drinks in the local pub before heading back to the house for dinner and copious amounts of wine.

Sadly, my gorgeous sister died last January after a long battle bravely fought. She was too tired. She could fight no more. I miss her everyday. I wrote this poem for her when she was in hospital. She kept it on her window sill beside the photo of the poppy fields.

poppy fields


Poppy fields


( for Joan,Feb 2011)

I think of you lying in your room so stark and bare

I wish I could be there

To hold your hand and take away the fear

And also, just to be near.


I want to bring in posters of Portugal and Spain

Places that we will visit again

I want to hang them on your wall

Sit on your bed, hold your hand, and bawl.


I want you to know, how much I miss you

And all the things we used to do

Like hopping on a bus to town

To a show or book launch or whatever may be going on.


Remember Tuesday nights at lectures in Trinity

Running across the cobbles, you and me

After class we’d chat about writing poems

Then head for sneaky pints in Grogans on the way home.


Those days I know will come again soon

Maybe we can even have a holiday in June

As soon as we get rid of this disease

We’ll run once more through poppy fields




About trishnugentwriter

A wife and mother of four who writes and acts as much as she can in between the housework and shopping. I have been published in 'Irelands Own' 'Intallaght' and 'Tallaght Echo'. I have won prizes for poetry including 1st place in The Bealtaine Writing comp in 2012.I'm a member of drama group in 'An Cosan' in Tallaght and also 'Platform One' Writers group in Rua Red.
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4 Responses to Joan’s room

  1. Sorry for your loss. Beautiful poem. I lost my mom to leukemia in 2011 (and other family members to other forms of cancer). There really needs to be a cure found…and SOON!

    Plucking Of My Heartstrings

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