Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Marina Kay Sep 2018
Half a decade in
that was all I needed,
all the time it took to see
the world was an insult to me.

Was I cursed at birth
to live on the brink of death?
Trapped in this trance until
Poseidon's realm pulls me to its depths.

My pursuits to meet him have gone astray.
Countless trials that end one way:
under bright lights,
in a hospital gown,
tubes, tests, nurses pinning me down,
and a hundred voices asking me why
Why oh why did I want to die?
Well I was muting the agony,
executing my destiny,
see daylight please, it's meant to be.
You can't stop me.

And Plath said it best
I do it well,
my scars could attest.

Perhaps I'm not as strong
as everyone once thought
The echoes whisper
“You never did belong”
Neither here nor there or anywhere.

I fear I am nature's mistake.
For the hands of fate, I must partake
in this sacrifice
to begin my demise.
This shouldn't come as a surprise.

I was only five.
I thought I could survive.
It's been a while. Some of my thoughts haven't changed.
My name is Sarah, I am but 4
Trapped staring at the ceiling and at the floor
I don't even understand what I’m fighting for.

I never did wrong I always did what was right
Now it hurts so bad I can’t sleep at night.
Why is my mommy crying what is going through her head
I’d give her a hug if I was allowed to leave my bed.

My stomach is starving but cannot eat
I want to get up but I’m much too weak
I lay down my head and drift off to sleep
I pray to the lord for my soul to keep.
Then I stop breathing and through the dark I see a light,
My name is Sarah and cancer murdered me tonight.

HTTP://www.******-in-oncology.com
Kevin J Taylor Aug 2017
Raymond shifted his weight forward on the coffee
shop chair and leaned his cheekbone into the heel of
his palm. A childhood verse chided him in his
mother’s voice of over fifty years ago.

“Raymond, Raymond, if you’re able,
get your elbows off the table.
This is not a horse’s stable,
but your mother’s dining table.”


It didn’t immediately connect to any
pictures in his mind but he had heard it enough
to know it was real. An hour ago he had been
at his mother’s side in the palliative care ward.

She had appeared smaller than he liked to think of
her—had looked almost like he was seeing her at
a distance. She hadn’t greeted him, only closed
her eyes and said, “Feed the cats, will you.” It wasn’t

really a question. “Yes,” he answered, but the cats,
whoever they were, must have left or died years ago.
The only living thing she owned, he suspected,
was the small Christmas cactus someone had brought to

cheer her up. He looked at her again, waiting for
her eyes to open. They never did. Her jaw dropped
and that was that. Raymond hadn’t wanted to be
in the room when the nurses and orderly would

come to take her away. He stopped at the reception
desk to say that he’d be in the coffee shop
waiting for his brother and sister-in-law to
arrive. They were late and he was thankful to have

a few minutes to himself. From where he sat he
faced the open entrance of the café. There was
a couple sitting tiredly off to one side.
A man in a shapeless blue hospital gown and

slippers shuffled in pushing an IV pole ahead
of him. Raymond heard steps echo sharply down
the hallway. Here they are, he thought, hurrying
needlessly. Bill and Marijke had been fast asleep

at 2:30 am when Raymond’s first text message
came in. They never saw it until 5:00 when Bill
reached for his cell phone as he did every morning
right after Marijke turned off the alarm. “****,”

he said, “No time.” Bill, “William” on his realtor
business card, and Marijke, were used to demands
on their time from potential home buyers. But they
usually had early mornings to themselves—

breakfast, coffee, catch up on current events. Not
today. The text had said, “ASAP.” They hit the drive-
through at Starbucks on their way to the hospital.
“Hey Bill. Marijke,” Raymond said. Bill nodded. “Hey,”

he replied and paused to look at Raymond, to see
if he’d say something else, “Is she gone?” “Couple of
hours ago,” Raymond said. “Should we see her?” Bill asked.
“Can if you want, I suppose. Maybe later,"

Raymond said, "Did she have a cat? She mentioned cats.
I haven’t seen any for years. Did you take them?”
Mother might have mixed him up with Bill again.
Raymond looked at his brother who didn’t seem to

be listening and then at Marijke. "She used to
feed the neighborhood cats before she broke her hip,”
Marijke said. “That might be it.” It seemed odd that
Marijke knew more about his mother’s life than

her sons did. “Maybe you’re right,” Raymond said. “What’s next?”
“I’ll call her lawyer and get him on it,” Bill answered.
Raymond suddenly realized that his brother
had been listening. Marijke started to cry. 
 
Raymond pulled some napkins from their holder and pressed
them hard against his eyes. Bill looked down and away.
Over the next few days life seemed to stop. Nothing
more than daily routines and only as long as

they didn’t require much effort or attention.
Coffee, whatever was in the fridge—dishes sat in
the sink. Gradually he began to feel alive
again. It was as though he had been wrapped in blankets,

hearing distant, mostly muffled voices, glimpsing
unfamiliar rooms and spaces when he closed his
eyes to sleep. Marijke had startled him this morning
when she called and said to the answering machine that

Bill and her were coming over with something from
the lawyer and hoped he would be in. She didn’t
wait for him to pick up. She’d have known he was at
the kitchen table. They arrived mid-afternoon.

No knock at the door. Bill was the older of the
two and was the most like their dad. And Dad had not
been the knocking sort. Not with Raymond anyway.
Bill and Marijke each carried a bag of groceries

which they placed on the kitchen counter. “Thought you might
need some things,” Marijke said. “Nice to see you, Ray.”
She took a bag of groceries and made room in the
fridge for its contents: milk, BBQ chicken and

eggs. She placed the bananas in a wooden bowl.
“Saw the lawyer yesterday,” Bill started. “He has
the will but it doesn’t amount to much except
for the house,” he paused, “The equity has mostly

been ****** out of it. God knows what for. And there’s this…”
Bill dropped a large manila envelope in front
of Raymond. “I’ve already opened it. There’s an
envelope for each of us in there. Marijke

says we should open them together because we’re
all the family we have now.” He tipped the envelope
on its end and let the two smaller envelopes
slip out. One each for William and Raymond. Bill picked

his up and tore the corner of the flap destroying
most of the envelope in the process and
extracted what appeared to be several sheets of
neat handwriting. “It’s just a letter,” Bill said. He

put it into the inside breast pocket of his
suit jacket. Raymond waited a moment then picked
up the other envelope, turned it over and nodded
almost imperceptibly. He stood, walked to the

shelf between the window and the back door where he
had made room for the Christmas cactus instead of
leaving it behind. Not sure about the light, he
thought, and leaned the unopened letter against the

earthenware ***. “Not you, too?” Marijke shook her
head. “It’ll be like…” Raymond said, he paused, looking
at her, “It’ll be like not hanging up the phone.”
Marijke understood—he’d never open it.

“I get it,” she said in a softer tone. Bill looked
blankly at his brother. And Raymond smiled a little
for the first time in a while. By six the next
morning Raymond was already dressed and brewing

coffee. Usually he would head down to Timmy’s
Donut Shop for his caffeine fix. “Double trouble,”
he’d say, meaning “Double double,” as he always
did at Timmy’s. It amused him and often made

his favorite server smile. “Too much trouble, you mean,”
she’d say. Human contact. Raymond guessed that some of
the guys at the corner table would be wondering
how he was doing. They’d know what had happened, of

course, but they’d ask just the same. He poured his first cup
and walked out onto the back porch. Still a bit cool
out here, he thought as he leaned against the railing,
sipping his coffee as his eyes wandered around

the yard. He’d have another cup in a while but
first he had something he needed to do. Raymond
sat down on the porch steps and slipped his feet into
an old pair of shoes. He tied them and flicked the loops

with his finger to see how the laces fell, to
make sure he had not tied them backwards and would not
work their way loose. Someone had taught him that a long
time ago when they had seen his laces come undone.

He stood up and walked across the yard to the back
lane and the narrow picket fence, missing a picket
here and there and much of its original coat
of white paint. Some boys had probably pulled the missing

pickets off decades ago and with galvanized
garbage can lids for shields spent a Saturday
morning sword fighting. The gate was leaning and half
open, held there by uncut grass, weeds and neglect.

He stepped out and onto the lane that led between
the two rows of houses that backed onto it. Raymond
looked at each fence, each set of stairs and window as
he passed them by. A block later he turned and headed

home satisfied that he had seen at least one cat,
maybe two. Another cup of coffee in hand,
Raymond sat on the top step. On his way out of
the kitchen and onto the porch he had stopped to

turn the cactus in the morning light, stepped outside
placing a saucer of fresh milk by the porch door,
and sat down.

THE END
.
Not all poems survive. I've lost a few and let others go. My current collection of poems is available on Kindle. It is called "3201 e's" (that is approximately how many e's are in the manuscript which is a very unpoetic title but a reflection on the creation of poetry with common things.)
I saw the tears in my mother’s eyes and the concern on my father’s face. I had no idea why or what was happening. ”what’s going on momma” I asked her. She didn’t reply, she just held my hand and started to cry.

Less than 40% chance is not what anyone would have hoped for. But you can’t change the odds; you can only fight against them.

When we found out that I had ALL,
(acute lymphoblastic leukemia) my family members tried to explain to me what was going to happen, but I know now that nothing in the entire world could prepared me for what was about to happen.

Before all this I could not imagine all the things that would happen. All the drugs I would have pumped through my veins, or even worse the ones taken by mouth. Trust me they’re not all that sweet Banana flavour. I could never even begin to think about all the treatments and radiation and piercing the port right through my skin. Words cannot explain to you the pain that I experienced just so I could stand here today and tell you my story.

Before I knew it I was hooked up to an IV and all my long blonde gorgeous hair was gone, once perfectly placed on my 2 year old head, now on my pillow.

Sitting in the hospital bed with the sounds of people crying and other children screaming out in pain and agony echoing through my head. But through the pain and suffering there was always someone there to keep me company.

Aside from my parents and family who were by my side the entire 3 years never giving up hope, my aunt Jamie was always there when I felt down. We would always have fun playing games and she would always paint my nails just to make me feel special. My grandmother, a retired nurse herself, was also another very special person; she always knew that I would overcome my illness. Every day she would take me to the chapel in the church and I would stare at the enormously realistic wood carved statue of Jesus. I would ask “even though you look like you are in more pain than me, can you ask your father to help me.”

Then my grandmother and I would go back to the room and say this prayer together;

And now I lay me down to sleep and I pray you lord my soul to keep, but if I shall die before I wake, I pray you Lord my soul to take.

After a while you realize that you’re stuck in the hospital for a while. In the hospital I met an Angel, and her name was Sarah. She was in the room next to me and she had leukemia too. She was a very sweet girl and we had fun together, she helped me not to feel as different. We shared a lot of things like pizza parties, we played in the art room and we gave each other the drugs that were impossible to take. It seemed much easier to swallow when she gave them to me, compared to 5 nurses holding me down while they poured it down my throat. Out of all my friends on the fourth floor she was the best. She was an amazing friend even if she was only 3.

But eventually all angels must go back to heaven. And about a year later my angel Sarah went back to heaven. She died in her sleep, because the doctors failed to find a match for her bone marrow transplant. It made me sad just to look at the empty bed on that fourth floor in room 420. Although it was 10 years ago that she died I will always remember her because she will forever be in my heart.

And even though she died along with other people I cared about like my friend Sister Jacklyn, death never crossed my mind. After her death I still never lost hope, and I promised never to give up. And even after I relapsed and had to start all over again, I promised myself to keep on fighting until I was just like everyone else again, until I could wake up in my own bed and run free without that ****** IV. No matter how painful a struggle no matter how long, I would have fought to eternity to be healthy again.

I was just a young child when I was first diagnosed with leukemia. A young girl who’s fate would have brought her to the grave. But look at me now. I am standing here in front of you and although I may be far different from all of you on the outside, I am still a person on the inside. My physical scars in time will heal, but my emotional scars will remain forever.

HTTP://www.******-in-oncology.com
Philomena  Jan 28
Quiet
Philomena Jan 28
You looked so peaceful
Laying there
Silence except for the soft beeps and coughs on the floor
And I couldn't bring myself to leave you
Not even for a moment to close my eyes
You always seemed so strong
But here you looked frail
Strung up with wires and tubes
Eventually I grew tired of trying to stay busy
So I went to the window
And the lights love
You should have seen them
They were so brilliant and so quiet
Soft unlike every emotion flooding my heart
They were just like I remembered
Just like the first time I showed you the lights
And I didn't know it then
Just how much I love you now
Anxious as ever and can't sleep, but what else is new.
Next page