Leanne Meikle – Deakin University

I know she is dead

And I am scared

I don’t want to touch her

I walk away

I don’t want to see her

She is dead

People are calling my name

They are looking for me

But I am hiding

She is dead

I don’t want to see her

Be near her

And I certainly don’t want to touch her

I think I am crying

But I am not sure

Maybe I am not crying

But I am scared

Someone finds my hiding place

It was only a matter of time

I am told to go to her

I refuse

Why, she says with a

Confused voice

Puzzled face


Lack of sympathy

Because she is dead I say

I don’t care if she was



Or is

In a better place now

She is still dead and I don’t want to be near her

I am shaking

I am told that I must go to her

It is my


My duty

My work

I am a nurse

And she was my patient

Is my patient

And I have to lay her out


I say

I can’t do it

I won’t

I am scared of death

You must, she says

And makes me go to

The dead lady.

Behind the curtains


The dead lady

She looks dead

She looks different

She has stopped making that horrible sound

The death rattle they call it

I call it death

And I don’t like it

Everyone who makes that sound


There is no escaping death

When you make that sound

You are already


Touch her they say

There are others there now

Behind the curtain

With death


The dead lady

No I say

I can’t

She is dead

It’s an honour they say

No it’s not I reply

She is dead

I don’t do dead

Come closer they say


She is at peace

Close her eyes they say

I inch closer to the bed

My heart is pounding

I look at her eyes

They are empty

It is like she is not there anymore

She has gone

It is the strangest thing

To look into the eyes of a dead person

And see that no one is there

She doesn’t look like a person anymore

She just looks dead

Touch her someone says

Close her eyes someone else says

No I reply

I can’t

I want to run

I want to get away

I want to escape this dead person

I don’t do death


In the end

I did do death

To be a nurse

You have to do death

They all lied

There is nothing

Honourable in death

In laying out



For death

They have already left



All that is left



And the void

Of what once was


Leanne Meikle is a mature aged student who studies full-time and off-campus at Deakin University majoring in Literature and Children’s Literature. Her life revolves around study, creative writing, landscape and macro photography, travel and family.