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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

A couple of dear folks will worry, so I should add a disclaimer with this one.  I wrote the original version of this poem when a loved one was first diagnosed with cancer.  That was years ago.  He’s fine now.  All checkups continue to be good.

Not everyone is so fortunate, and we are no better than they are.  I only share these stories because I am thankful.  Remembering is the least I can do to express my gratitude.

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X-Ray

Julie Buffaloe-Yoder

It is the story of your life,

pinned on a screen, your insides

lit up, discussed in hushed tones

by a man who is late for a meeting.

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He sees deficiency, fissures, cells.

You see your mother’s red hands,

a river sliding past summer cabins,

mildewed faces on window screens,

.

shafts of sunlight through cracks

on the day your daughter was born,

graduation caps, unpaid bills, a man

drinking cold tea in an unlit room.

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This is not the denouement

you had written for yourself

at a creaky midnight desk

while counting the seconds

between rumbles of thunder.

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It is a lie too soon, a white flash,

a pumping bloodroot,

a story with no resolution.

A black spot on a silent film.

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The doctor clears his throat,

looks at the clock above the door

and asks if you have

any questions.


 

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gallery1

This poem was inspired by an essay my daughter     wrote about her Dad when she was a kid.  It was called Superman.  I wrote the poem a few months ago.

Ruth Pennebaker’s July 21st post reminded me of the poem.  Ruth is a wonderful writer, and I come away from her site with much food for thought.

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©2005 Amber Yoder                                                                                             Exquisite Flaws

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The above picture is from a gallery Amber created about scars.  The gallery contained photographs and stories about people with physical scars:  cancer survivors, a World War II vet, children who had come to the U.S. for surgery, etc.

Amber also put these scar stories in a book she made herself called                     Exquisite Flaws.

The gallery showcased the beauty of scars.  Yes, beauty.  It was a physically beautiful presentation.  The stories were fascinating.

Contrary to what some people think, “survivors” are not pitiful.

My jokes are by no means intended to downplay the seriousness of the subject.  I mourn the friends I have lost.  We are not special people just because we continue to breathe.  Obviously, I still have many fears.

But humor has been a big part of our story.  I hope it always will be.


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Superman Part II

Julie Buffaloe-Yoder

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I never knew cancer

was funny

until you named

your IV pole Rod.

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Rod was a man of steel

down cold, white halls.

He never left your side.

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The nurses who poked too hard

were Ratchet, Brumhilda, Big Bertha.

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You were Frankenstein after chemo,

hardly able to bend your knees

to walk to our old, hot Dodge

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also called The Batmobile.

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When they put you

in the sterile room,

the man next door died

.

so you joked

about tapioca–

your kryptonite,

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my crazy cat eyes

behind the mask,

my pink fingernails

touching you

through lead gloves

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the thin film

of the bubble

.

the glow of your

yellow-green skin

your skull, your bones.

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When blood counts

in the last stage were

so low it was not

humanly possible,

you turned into

Dracula’s cousin.

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Over a decade later,

you tell me a joke

about a politician

and The X-Men

at the doctor’s office.

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Yes, it is really over.

Yes, it is really gone.

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Now new villains

hover in a bubble

on the horizon.

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Foreclosure.

Bad credit.

The bread line.

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The growling worry

of getting put

in the woods

with werewolves.

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Still, you come

through the door,

brown eyes blazing

after sixteen hours

.

of sweaty work

at a crappy job.

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Under bright

kitchen lights,

you puff out

your chest

and suddenly

I have no fear.

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Captain America

has arrived.

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Let the big screen

bring it on, baby.

We’ll kick ass.

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Or else

we’ll die

laughing.

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