Canceled for Cancer

She won’t come down for supper tonight
(exhustion to the bone she aplogizes.)
Bring down your belligerent hammer
Shattering my head. Go down,
Smiles arrive with the company.
Folders holding their paper thin whispers
Presenting cakes in eggshell boxes
Handled and tied with candy cane twine.
Bakery buttercream surrounding vanilla sponges,
On doilies that leave a snowy trail and cling to your
Raggedy robe, sash untied and waving goodnight.

The hours slipped out with my hair
From the knot in my head
And the last door latch sounds
Finally. I meet you by the blue skipping
Light where you hand me some sugary flowers
With a clear plastic fork and a used
Occasional napkin.

Choking on a gilded fist I spit
Resistance onto the rosewood floor.
Shoulders slump and roll over my concave chest.
Tired as a rag doll dressed in raw burlap,
Eyes of simple plastic moon glow buttons
Centered on canvas, threaded with red vein thread.
The torn head bows, stitched over and over
Exhausted by breath excused for the whispers
“How does she do it? What does it look like?”

Talk of cures and tinctures and dragons tails.
I can still hear you slapping your thigh,
Distant laughing, over-sold stories.
Hysterical scorn defers to look at me,
Your cheek down on my lap I stand up
Leaving your face on the old gold sofa
Its brocade brambles emboss your cheek.
My slippers slap the stairs
Punishing the boards like a mother’s hand.
Upstairs the bedroom mirror stares back
I laugh along with her reflection —
My face looks uncooked and raw
Like a boxed frozen pie.

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