No room for that in this (Six minutes)

May 15th, 2013 § 35 comments

IMG_5541I find myself in silence a lot,
Tuning out the noise.
No room for anything but thoughts.

I try to forget for a few minutes,
I stare at a spot on the wall.
I lose myself.
No clue how long it has been.

The clock says it’s been six minutes,
I am glad that they’ve gone by.
But then I realize I have wasted them:
Six minutes of my life.

I want them back,
Feel I should use them for something better,
Something constructive.

I am mad at myself:
That was a waste of time.
I want days of suffering to pass,
But I also know that this is the only time I have.

I take a trip inside my head
I don’t know where I go.
Somewhere else,
Anywhere else,
Far away from here.

If you’d let me, I would run away,
I would go find a way
To keep you safe from this,
Safely far from this.

Some days I long to tell you how I truly feel,
But there’s no room for that in this,
No room for that in this.

It is not a choice.
That I know.
And when I finally do go
It won’t be for lack of want, or heart, or strength.

When I die it will be because that is what cancer is,
This is what cancer does.

And when it comes to being fair,
There is no room for that in this,
No room for that in this.




The still of the evening

April 9th, 2013 § 30 comments

IMG_3323In the still of the evening I hear the frogs waking up to Spring.
I hear the creak of the floor as my daughter walks around her room,
Sets things just so,
Murmurs to our dog.

In the still of the evening I hear a car,
A train,
A neighbor calling his own dog home for the night.

In the still of the evening my mind wanders again.
Always back.

I finished my 13th round of chemo 48 hours ago.
I wonder what is going on inside my body.
I wish I could see.
I wish I knew.

Is it working?
Is this round the one that will show evidence of chemo failure?
Will I move on to a new treatment?
One step closer to the end?

Every time I bang against something,
Every time I feel a twinge,
Every time that fractured bone aches,
I pause.

The pauses add up to moments.
The moments add up to minutes.

I reel them back in like fishing line, I show them who’s boss.

Just listen, I say.
Listen to the frogs. The creaks. The murmuring. The train.

Just listen.
Just hear the quiet,
Hear the house going to sleep for the night.
Feel the love.
Be grateful you can.

If you let me

March 4th, 2013 § 20 comments

cropped-IMG_02201.jpgOnce or twice a week I awaken in the middle of the night with a poem in my head. I reach for my phone and I type frantically. I go back in the morning, or after a few days, and read what I’ve written. I know the words are important, streaming from my head like water breaking through a dam. This poem came from one of these middle-of-the-night sessions.


If you let me

If you let me
I’ll cry you a river
Scream at the moon
Hold your hand
Kiss your mouth
Feel your heartbeat
Dream of more
Fear the end
Wish it were different
Pound my fists
Swear a blue streak.

If you let me
I’ll give you strength
Find a reason
Deliver some hope
Take a needle
Feel the pain.

If you let me
I’ll be grateful
Feign bravery
Take a stand
Do my best.

In the end
I’ll whimper softly
Try again
Give a last kiss
Take a last breath
Slip away.

Where Am I?

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