Living with metastatic breast cancer one word at a time.
“Don’t wait” the first Invitation*, states. Subject and verb meant What I heard: it’s my turn. These wasted times, My healthy days numbered Counting crows in a line. Life and death married And birthed you together So don’t wait for Tonight or for daylight When winds kick up a mess Of better yesterdays. Sour mash in a dirty glass Ice diluting the burning Hoarse throats from thirst So deserted, beyond quenching. Straddling my legs up to the bar And wild wet eyes find You outside of the frames pictures -you took them, too. Stored in musty boxes In basements and attics All dressed up, obnoxious When glasses obscured by Bottle blondes divorced and lonely. Time in the mind only reminds Us of what no longer stabs at Our hearts. Funny things: Gene’s helixes and a pine’s cones All the sacred plans for galaxies Spun Nautilus shells and The ringing bells in my ears. Yet some refuse any sound Like the dying refuse food.
Outside nature awaits and what sings Of life alone in the flutter. Nudging the willow tree’s long locks A hummingbird wings create unrest. Crying tiny drops of firelight Candles leave wax rings Worn into wood, married by ownership And warning our bodies in the dusk’s lazy sun adrift the sea Winking goodbye as it hides for the night. At home we take the complaints of stuttering billy goats Where clamorous hens kick At the roosters who forgot a nest Or two. What about me?
It’s the way we all feel Have they no idea our children fled the nest - Leaving their rooms full Of their trophies While we wait to sleep In fitted sheets Dug in graveyards with Names like Star of David. Smoothed over blue grass grown Watching the dead proves Equally as boring. It doesn’t mean a thing I mean that nothing was meant by it: To say that at birth We become life and death, as one Intertwined together. Growing taller, spinning Until we grow dizzy and Giggling in the know Of moment we will fall Carefully goes the innocence Spiraling, radiating out Of our mouths the breath of love itself. Rejoiced in our screams and cries.
A call to our guilty conscience That wears heavy on our bones Asking again to what ever we’ve Said no. Must we unpack and Put their guilt in the pantry Set the table with the China The sheets hang out in the Golden dusty fields Collecting the scent of Late sunlight in baskets After hanging up on the lines With the rest of the whites Faded and drying we remain Dying in the sky tidally locked Like the moon to the earth And never once asking For more than a simple goodbye “One day we will meet again” Though I never have Known you in your own skin Only under layered pelts Like laundry hanging from your deserted bones.
Dare we share the bond That darkness cannot control? Isn’t that a woman’s fate: to allow men to drink Until they drain our souls?
*from Frank Ostaseski’s The Five Invitations, highly recommended on audio book as read by the Author. “Don’t wait,” is the first invitation. One cannot live their entire life or tell all those they love how they feel, or forgive even yourself of any pain; it’s never too late, however.