Spiritual Care Counselor Bette Birnbaum is often moved to poetry by her experiences with families in hospice. Here is one of her recent poems:

As a lass in the pews she warbled the hymns,
lifting them High from those green Sundays on.
But the song that struck her deepest chord
was written by Irving Berlin.

Long since the Emerald Isle lost its luster,
years after crossing the oceans white with foam,
she still calls on God to bless America,
bursting with love
for the mountains and the prairies
of the Golden Land that welcomed her
and delivered on every promise.

Now ill and frail and tiny,
she worships from her club chair,
beseeching Heaven to stand beside her and guide her.
Lilting in her holy brogue,
“My home, sweet, home.”