Hospital Vigil – Lullaby

(c) June Perkins


I think of you
sitting by the side
of a hospital bed
I’ve been there too.

You wait for one who’s in coma
perhaps induced
and tears are close at hand
but instead you will yourself
to sing your loved one’s favourite songs.

You’ve been told they can hear you
in their coma dreams
it’s then that you remember the power
of the lullaby.

This time your lullaby is
an invoking them to be allowed to wake once more
for head, heart and soul to be healed.

Your lullaby is to chase away uncertainty
to let them know that
in the land of the awake
love for them
is waiting
no matter how long the journey
whether from wheelchair or not
without speech or not.

Love is the lullaby that keeps
us dancing with those we love
beckoning from the world of dreams
to a world of lived courage.


Wake when you are ready
from the land of dreams.

Know that we are waiting
and we will cheer you on.

Wake when you are ready
to make those recovery steps.

We’ll be here always waiting
to cheer you back to us

You are strong
and to your future you belong

Your sleep it serves a purpose
may it make you strong
don’t forget that
to your future you belong.

Wake when you are ready
please return to us.

(c) June Perkins

So today it’s time for a lullaby.

I think I’ll write one for parents and siblings sitting by hospital beds. Thinking of Phil Hughes’ (Australian Cricketer) family today, keeping vigil by his hospital bed. Note within a few hours of this poem Phillip Hughes passed away. A sad day for the Australian Cricket Community.

2 thoughts on “Hospital Vigil – Lullaby

  1. Beautiful, June. Yes, I’ve done the bedside vigil, so have my daughters, so it resonates very deeply. I remember when my eldest son was in hospital when he was a child, we stayed at the parents hostel at the Royal Randwick, and there was a woman there who had come down from the country with her son. He lay in a coma and she talked to him all day, sang to him, read letters from home’ As our boy was being discharged she ran up and said, “he moved! My son moved!” As we huggedf goodbye all her joy was for her son and for my son, going home. Her bravery was wonderful.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. Mine was my brother. I observed my mum’s dedication and devotion – willing him to wake, then to make it out of his wheel chair and back to speaking. What a journey. Loved your story.

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