IMG_3414.JPG

Poetry

Wrinkles

I stood half naked and smiling in the bathroom

My lashes heavy with fresh mascara

My hair pinned back, simply and softly

My thoughts on him

as I waited for the iron to warm.

 

My whole body hummed with love

and when Papa called I answered cheerfully,

ready to receive his good news.

The surgery had gone well;

Mama was on the road to recovery.

 

His voice, after mine, shocked me.

He spoke softly, slowly, soberly

as if building the

strength to say

the word

Cancer.

 

It hissed in my ears before biting hard,

a shock that stung until I was numb,

whole bodling tingling

as it prepared to swallow me whole.

 

Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer                                                   The surgeon decided

Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer                                        not to risk surgical removal.

Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer                                               As soon as she gets her

Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer                                       strength back she can begin

Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer                                         chemo and the doctors are

Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer                                         fairly confident it will work.

 

How many one syllable words

did I manage to mutter

as he asked me

if I understood,

if I had questions,

if I was okay

as I prayed for him to hang up?
 

My mind stretched to infinity and back again

before I remembered the iron, still hot in my hand

and pressed the last wrinkles

and slipped on the dress

and stepped into this dark new world

where he was waiting for me.