Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Jonathan Moya Oct 2019
“Are you okay?”,
my wife asks
when I cough.

“No. I’m fine.
Yes. I’m not”,
I respond,

stumping her
in the poetic irony
of words that

encompass the
yes and no
and the in between.

She flips the finger
at me and I return
the bird to the nest.

We go back to our life
and our tablets,
the drip, drip of my chemo
and I wonder about okay.

“No.  You’re fine.
Yes. You’re not.”,
the bag stares in response.
F White Feb 2018
Something of a wasteland lately-
Only elbows, shoulders and ribs.
Tentative and soft about my navel
Yet, above my hips no camel can trace a
Drops in this desert are fleeting and often the bones
Of strangers get in the
People look at me now and
Don't know what
To say.
Copyright fhw 2018
MikeTheVike Nov 2017

Set   Fire   to   the   beach!

T h e  c r u e l  s u n  c r i e d.

While the edge of the earth

licked it's rays with the tide

his skin like a paper; it peels and curls and cracks
the heat like a vapor; it seals and swirls and traps
                     i t s e l f    i n s i d e    h i s    c e l l s                          

   a virus encircles above                    
                                               ­       just a seaside paloma        

                 i m p r e g n a t i n g  skin                                              
                              ­                      with malignant melanoma        

his doctor like a butcher; with hands he chops and stains
his pain like a structure; it stands and burns and caves
i n      o n      i t s e l f

Set   fire   to   his   cells!

The   cruel   chemo   cried

while the wicked bag of morphine

dripped drops at his side

© Mike Mortensen
Nicole Hammond Aug 2016
dear god of needle ***** and poisoned well
i pray you find my mother
cold and dry and unfeeling
something you can draw no moisture out of
a different god struck a rock with a staff
a long long time ago
and water came to cool his throat
but there are no miracles here
so you can please stop beating her now

dear god of gluttonous apothecary
my mother's body is a mathematical
it is a function with limits
her veins are rolling with their bellies full
of chemicals that burn
her hair runs from the scalp the way
two legs would
from a house going up in flames
my mother's body
is a house going up in flames
i am a child that is terrified of a monster
under the bed
i am helpless to a thing i can feel but
cannot see

dear god of gasoline remedy
your counterintuitive science
your black dream
takes her body like a new land
teaches her it's wretched language
it rapes and pillages
it steals the recognition
that sparks her eyes when she looks in mine

dear god of intravenous dark rider
let her live to see a day
she can wake and not be bound
to her biology

dear god of pink ribbon tourniquet
let her breathe and take it for granted again

dear god of careful rampage
finish what you have started
and lock the door behind you
Grace Jun 2016
In childhood, your father’s name is DAD
Now grown, maybe with children of your own
But his name is still DAD
DAD, the teacher, the consoler, the advisor
Admonishes: “Drive safe” and “Save your Money”

Today he’s the bard
“This is like prison,” DAD laments while rolling his eyes
Tubes like thin plastic chains tether his deflated body
to blinking panels; paintings (factory printed ones)
pretend the hospital room is more than just a sterile space

Today, DAD’s eyes cast a faraway gaze, projecting
And I see the characters in his story
I see the 10 year old boy he describes, who snuck to stash a set
Of English Composition Texts in the boy’s bathroom
To escape Mrs. McElroy’s Fourth Grade course in Morose Poetry

I see the thin, sandy blond, 6 foot 2 high school rabblerouser
Who broke into the Vice Principal’s old Fiat
And buried Stilton cheese in the dashboard
All done on a sweltering May school day
The anecdote is punctuated with a smirk and a: “Who would do a thing like that?”

Stories of when he spotted a shy brunette at the dance and knew
Knew he was to marry her;
Stories of when his own DAD grasped his infant grandson’s dimpled hand
Before giving in to complications of a heart attack
The bard stops and exhales a sigh

He cringes in his crinkled skin
Sunken eyes squeeze close “I’m sorry”
the nausea interrupts his tale “These drugs are…”

“It’s okay. Take your time” I console, trying to comfort the pain in the room
Now I’m the consoler, taking on the job to ameliorate
Now this man, vulnerable in his suffering, is no longer DAD
Now mortal, a child, a brother, a lover, a patient
A man chained by the body’s sickness

He is distilled by chemo
reduced to a soul, who, through affliction,
As his children remember
He is as helpless in this life as we are.
My father in law died today and I love him more than I love my own father. I wrote thos while spending the day with him at the hospital. It was at that moment, he paused from being Dad to being a person. The subtle change was triggered by chemo and the possibility of death. I miss him very much. And I miss his stories.
jane taylor Apr 2016
in the midst of an emerald slumbering forest
laced with pungent scents of jaded wood
a burgundy blushed tail
of a chestnut hued fox
scurries as copper sunbeams part the day

a hospital lumes starkly nearby
its aura exudes hints of melancholy
commingled with faint impressions
of halcyon futures
not yet lived

at neighboring dartmouth
a student sprinting to class
drops his crimson colored backpack
the prospect of cancer
far from his budding consciousness

my beloved sits patiently
pondering pensively
his last chemo treatment
elusion of death
not far from his mind

i feign to fend off future catastrophes
watching letters scramble across my screen
earnestly writing
in a desperate attempt
to be with him forevermore

an aquamarine hummingbird drenched in tranquility
senses the inverse
its amber tipped wings stand seemingly stationary
while it steals a quick glance through the window
curious at chemical infusions meant to heal

my beloved walks out
of the austere building
with rose colored glasses i feel
that we’ll whirl on the tips of gilded stardust
dancing with another chance to fly

Hannah Dec 2015
I remember when the chemo failed,
your family asked the doctors "isn't there something you can do?"
they turned to me, like I was guilty,
and said "no, you're wrong, this can't be true".
"palliative care" "hospice" "comfortable" euphemisms fell from my mouth,
they tasted bitter like acid and lies--
I wanted to scream and cry and tear my heart out.

At night I lay in an empty bed,
and when I sleep I dream,
I wake up next to a body bag,
my mouth too terrified to scream.
Once upon a time,
I considered the possibility
that poison could make me well.

The thing is, it worked. But not
without the gods, and friends,
and brothers, who blessed me
with their love, and believed
that I could live.

Now, you see this thick curly hair,
and the way I dance with total abandon,
and you say to yourself: "Does she have
no shame?"
She doesn't.

I handed that in one morning, here on
the prairie, and life has been sweeter
ever since. That wild dancing, you see,
is my form of prayer,
my way of saying:
"Thank you, God, for this beautiful life."
(The surrender,, as you will probably have gathered, was to chemo. It's been almost nine years now, and all body parts are still intact. Gratitude is my core.) ©Elisa Maria Argiro, August 17, 2007

— The End —