“Still Sick”


Seeing me so very ill,
Hard-faced nurses will advise
Resignation to God’s will,
And their pious, bony fingers
With unloving care
Will arrange my lifeless hands
In an attitude of prayer.
God of everlasting mercy,
Save me from their clutches. I
Don’t want pious scarecrows near me
When it’s time for me to die.

-“Still Sick,” from Crisis: Pages from a Diary, Hermann Hesse (trans. R. Manheim)

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