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Sandra Ostrander Apr 2019
I make no big plans,
I go where the day takes me.
It always leads home.
Sandra Ostrander Apr 2019
Cancer called for me.
I wish I hadn't answered.
It wanted too much.

Chemo is brutal.
It wanted to take me out,
But that's cancer's job.

Radiation *****,
Fries you from the inside out;
It's sneaky that way.

Cancer - just a word;
Until it silences me,
I give it no voice.

That silly cancer
Tries to kick my ample ***...
Good luck with that, *****!

Cancer takes a break.
Is it gone or just hiding?
I'll know soon enough.

Here I am again,
Caught in cancer's undertow.
Will I sink or swim?

Poison floods my veins.
The death battle reignites.
Will I win this round?

Snowflakes at window
Beg me to come out and play.
If only I could...

Hey, cancer... hear this!
You **** a big bag of *****.
I'm coming for you!
I love haikus. Sometimes I think in them. These are about my ongoing battle with cancer.
Sandra Ostrander Apr 2019
(Based on a true story published in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, March, 2004)

“Help me with my numbers, Mom,”
The little fellow said.
How could his mother ever know
In seconds, he’d be dead.

She did her best to keep him safe,
To shelter him from harm.
But guns and drugs in the neighborhood
Were cause for  much alarm.

She heard the shots ring out that night,
But this was nothing new...
Until her son fell to the floor
And to his side she flew.

As blood gushed from his mouth and nose,
She fought to keep him still.
And there upon the bedroom floor
His precious life did spill.

It’s hard to understand how bad
The city has become,
But should you ever doubt it,
Just go ask Jawara’s mom.
Sandra Ostrander Mar 2019
“One potato, two potato,
There potato, four!
Your daddy’s waitin’ there for you
Behind your bedroom door!”

The jump rope slaps the sidewalk,
My ears bleed with every word.
Though the voices didn’t say that,
It’s exactly what I heard.

My small feet pound the pavement
Just as fast as they can go,
For a moment I escape my world,
The only way I know.

Game over now, it’s gettin’ dark,
No longer can I stay.
Don’t wanna make him look for me,
It’s even worse that way.

Maybe he’s not drunk tonight,
Perhaps he’s gone to bed.
Don’t want his stink all over me
I’m wishin’ he was dead.

Mama, she won’t do a thing.
She says it isn’t true.
I know she’s really scared like me,
He beats her black and blue.

One day soon I’ll make him stop,
He’ll get what he deserves.
I’ll shove a knife right through him...
If and when I get the nerve.
This is best read in jump rope cadence.
Sandra Ostrander Mar 2019
Where have all my yesterdays gone?
The seasons have passed; the years, how they've flown.
But where's that child who once was me?
And what of the girl I used to be?

She's out there somewhere still, I know,
I feel her when the spring winds blow.
I hear her sing some distant tune
Played just beyond the evening star, behind a crescent moon.

Oh, to return to that sweet place...
To play again in that same space.
To find the friends I used to know,
To tell them how I loved them so.

But that was then, and this is now.
I'll get there in my dreams somehow.
Perhaps they all will be there soon,
Yes, just beyond the evening star... behind a crescent moon.
Sandra Ostrander Mar 2019
Once upon a thinner time
Many pounds ago,
My neck was long and, oh, so slim...
Wherever did it go?

I had a neck, I know I did,
The slimmest one around,
But when I search the mirror now
It’s no where to be found.

I can’t say when it happened.
Time passes by so fast.
The things we take for granted are
The things that never last.

I know what prompted its demise...
‘Twas one of many sins.
I can’t say no to Twinkies
Now it’s buried ‘neath my chins.

Perhaps we’ll meet again one day,
But it matters not, you see,
For I know that with or without my neck,
I’m still the same old me.
Sandra Ostrander Mar 2019
November 22nd, 1963...
Junior year
Sitting in a noisy high school cafeteria.
JFK shot in Dallas.
A sick joke, right?
Wrong! Gone! Never to return...
This I remember.
Two Kings lost in Memphis...
A dream dissolves in a pool of blood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel,
An accidental overdose at Graceland.
Those moments, I too remember.
But others are missing.
Extraordinary moments, important only to me.
AWOL from memory.
LAST times.
If only I'd known...
The last time I danced on Daddy's feet,
The last time I heard my mother's voice calling me home to supper,
The last time I kissed the boy who would haunt my dreams for life.
Fleeting... priceless... gone...
Never to be recalled.

— The End —