Sunday, June 28, 2009

POEM: not my home

When I see myself now
as I take stock in the mirror
I can still remember what I looked like
the basic structure of my form
when I was a child
a young woman
a new mother
my body changed again and again
a slow evolution
the natural process
merely witnessed
I can barely remember how it felt
only how I looked

There was a long time once when I disregarded
my form
my shape
my self
hiding, I buried her in layer upon layer
of flesh
of fat
of pain
until I was unrecognizable
but eventually I rediscovered my native essence
and peeled away those thick, heavy layers
until my body was my own again
damaged but still familiar

Now in only an afternoon's time
with the sculpting of a surgeon’s scalpel
I will no longer be the same
a new form
a new shape
a new self
will emerge from the reconstruction
and I don’t know how that will be
will I ever feel comfortable
in my own skin again
or will it always feel rearranged
like living in a house that is not my home

POEM: velocity

velocity makes all the difference
rapid change seems drastic
sending the senses reeling
leaving the bitter tang
of metallic taste in my mouth
but the slow pace of crawling time
is a comfort, yielding gentle transitions
that are no less inevitable
yet without trepidation
acceptance can grow gradually
have a chance to mellow, deepen
into a full, luscious vintage
sweet upon the tongue
a vague memory, the flavor
of any former essence
barely remains
so as not to distinguish sharply
the new vine from the old

Saturday, June 27, 2009

POEM: I am lost

To conserve and irradiate
or to obliterate and rebuild
these are not fit choices
for any mortal woman

As a mother I choose simply
as a woman it is more complicated
and fear of regret
sits heavy in my heart
a driving force that has me
spinning my wheels in place

While I try and weigh the options
numbers and statistics are no measure
of the potential for human life
yet like signs in a language I can’t read
they point in the direction I need to go
a most reluctant tourist
with an unreadable map, I am lost

POEM: uncaged

Is it all too much
indulgent of me to wallow
captivated entirely
with my own selfish need
to endlessly express
the minutia of my every
about this interminable disease
and how it has impacted
my entire existence

A shadow over every thing
all else pales
in the dark light
of this self absorbed prison

Release seems almost
more frightening
than incarceration
for to escape means
letting go
and letting go means
a failure to appreciate
the cage

POEM: Wisdom has left the building

each available option is fraught
with the torment of Uncertainty
Doubt lurks around every corner
waiting to pounce on my Fear
and feed off of it, well-nourished
creature that she has become of late

I wish not so much for Knowledge
to make the definitive, right choice
but instead I long for pure Faith
that innocent child of Trust & Hope

only willing Belief could bring me Peace
as Wisdom has left the premises
and I don’t anticipate her return
any time soon…she took Sanity with her
and you know what that means!

they are hiding from this impossible choice
and so I make it alone now, resting uneasy
until Hindsight makes her way here
and offers me Comfort rather than Regret
while Compassion holds my hand, ever so gently

Saturday, June 20, 2009

POEM: in my own skin

Not sure
I can
write myself
thru this
this one
may finally
be too much
too hard
for even
the most
gut wrenching
to express
to empty
to help me
find comfort
or solace
or peace
in my own

POEM: goodbye

undulating skin
round areola
pale pink
surrounding the
generous nipple
I will miss you
he will miss you
we will miss you
I am sorry
forgive me
I will try
to forgive you

Friday, June 19, 2009

POEM: unaffected

I am weary and tired
of this unending quest
no answers are clear
no solution seems to fit
the losses are adding up
I know I should be glad
my very life is the prize
the precious gold ring
that is dangled enticingly
almost assured of winning it
yet I want so much more
I want to be unscarred
unscathed in mind and body
and that is not possible

I want to suckle my son
dreamily in the morning
as we both wake to the dawn
a new day ahead of us
shining and fresh, unspoiled

my daughter sits beside me
curled under my arm
her head against my breast
the one that they will take away
my son lays beside me
drinking from the other breast
the one they say is “unaffected”
but it is affected, we are all affected
unable to share my milk
poisoned, polluted
damaged beyond repair
how can that not be an affect?

POEM: the same thread (for my brother)

I climb out of bed
the same way every morning
disentangling myself
carefully, gently
from between my two children
each has their side of me

I look back at the bed
as I do every day
and feel the warmth overtake
my heart, glowing
their sweet faces soft with sleep

When I check on them
from time to time
until they wake
I see that they have gravitated
towards one another
becoming a tender tangle of just two
an intricate weave

Throughout the day I am often
touched, elated, proud
by the way they love each other
they are inseparable
Meggie, my little mother
wanting to make him smile
playful and creative
Daniel, joyful, exuberant, demanding
adoring her, emulating her
there are squabbles but never fights
they forgive each other easily
each wants for the other to be happy
a gift for a mother’s heart

I think of my own little brother
our wicked fights, animosity
not our fault
competing for the meager scraps
the weak strands of our parents love
scattered fragments of normalcy
there were moments of sharing
of a sibling bond
but they were few, thin
stretched beyond capacity

Grown now, no longer so little
towering over me, a man with his own children
he called when he found out I had cancer
His voice broke, “Sis, I know…I love you”
and we cried for a moment, wordless

I was reminded of when he called me to say
our father had died, unexpectedly
a man I hadn’t spoken to in years
who never knew my children
but for whom my brother still reached out for
despite everything

I said with tears in my eyes,
“David, I am so sorry for your loss.”
because for him it was a fresh wound
mine had healed long ago
mended with tightly woven mesh

It seems human bonds are always tangled
some create a strong tapestry
beautiful fabric tightly woven
and others are threadbare, worn
with gaping holes beyond patching
but both are still tied together
by the same thread
never to be unraveled

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

POEM: losing my grip

everything falls flat
the sounds I hear
are missing a certain tone
the scenery lacks depth
vivid shades of color
are lost
my voice faint
barely discernable
amidst the din
of this loud disease
I am fading away
bit by bit
before I have even begun
to fight
how will I ever find
the strength to go on
without myself
to hold on to?

Monday, June 8, 2009

POEM: too late to revel in the glory

look at your breasts
see them anew
for me

if they are whole
are healthy
are both still intact
please know what I did not
that they are a treasure
know how lucky you are

enjoy them
cherish them
love them
no matter what you used to think

round and firm,
the blessing of youth
a gentle sloping curve,
the gift of maturity
small and unassuming
or large and cumbersome

they are all so amazing
so beautiful
so unique
so utterly precious

and sadly, fragile, too

my wish for any woman
is to know her breasts as a blessing
a simple gift
and to do what she can
to keep them safe

my wish for myself
is to forget all that now
and let go
too late to revel in the glory