Posts Tagged ‘uncertainty’

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.




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.


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.


This is not the denouement

you had written for yourself

at a creaky midnight desk

while counting the seconds

between rumbles of thunder.


It is a lie too soon, a white flash,

a pumping bloodroot,

a story with no resolution.

A black spot on a silent film.


The doctor clears his throat,

looks at the clock above the door

and asks if you have

any questions.


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