19 April 2012

This, a Life Event: or, When Cancer Invades a Child

This, the seashore:
scallop shells, soft
serves swirled high
in cake cones, sunburn,
swimming pool, your son
splashes, then wades out
shivering; his stomach

This, the sudden cry:
splits the night,
breaks the dream,
tomorrow’s scavenge
hunt of shells and sea
glass broken, tumbled
tears that contain

This, the hospital:
hushed murmurs,
latexed fingers prod,
prick, neat white coats,
white cells dry up,
tubes tether your son
to machines, to

This, a life event:
an event that alters,
an event that mutates,
crushes and bends
futures. God is not
at the sea shore, not
at hospital; God plays in


Prompt=life event. This inspired talking to a friend whom I had not seen in more than six months. Since we had last talked, her young son, now ten, was diagnosed with 3 forms of renal cancer, two rare. I cannot even imagine the horror, the pain; this poem tries to recreate what happened, if for no other reason than to understand. Peace...

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