Merciful Sister

For Janis

Peace, My Sister.
Return to grace —
To feel my heart,
Beating through miles, through space.
Time melts if you just dream,
Now close your night eyes tightly shutting away all else, but leave —
One small place, but only for me.
Return your brandy, your gray dove
Let her out in the open, but cage the olive branch.
Close your arms and fold them round your self, warm fires
On the distant beaches, white night sands.
Do not fail to wash your soul in the gentle waves,
Dip your feet in with the moon tonight
Alight in your grace and alive as your desires.

Still, surround us around you find love through pain named “Time,”
Find my breath in autumnal air billowing redgoldyellow and sublime.
Tend to yourself warmly, engulfed by the day’s
Lost rays of sun, of seasons, of salt, of skin, so fair.
Gentle, perfect and golden, somehow washing us so clean,
The water rains from somewhere unknown, as the bees hives gleam,
Returning to home overflowing with so much honey.
The Queen waited watching us, in the dark you tried to find me.

Merciful, ribbon-hair’d woman,
You with strength to cry for all who scream,
In pain enough to walk eyes shut,
Walk away from all your dreams.
Cry for the little girl inside yourself—
On the strength of my broad back, oh
My, our weakness shows. I shoulder the breadth
Stretched across the wide sea, arriving we
Heave and cough then stand with time,
Still both of us in tact.

You may seem an Angel to some, a demon you who cannot see,
And yet a sister but for one alone, and one for alone me.

The Sisters

Realize hidden oddities.
Attract orbital bodies.
Finish the eighth course.
Utilize blunt force.
Down the whole bottle.
Open your sore throttle.
Drive the horses faster.
Submit to each and every disaster.
Delete each of the black spells words.
Toss up madrigal white birds.
Raise your boisterous heavy voice.
Leave to feast another’s choice.
Breathe in the swollen air your spoiling.
Surrender up your daily work and toiling.

Lay down slowly my friend,
Just breathe out its your end.
Hear the softly spoken whisper,
‘From each woman, my sister.’


A quick side note to The Sisters – this poem represents the sisterhood of all of us going through cancer. We’ve become a different species – although we’re not witches, we’re in some sense the women who wear the scarlet letter. Only this letter is “C.” It’s nothing we chose, but what’s been thrust upon us and weighted us down with so many changes, that the difficulty in understanding us our closest relatives even find, is the language we have that’s brand new with each diagnosis.  I think we’re all there for one another, either in person or virtually through blogs such as mine and yours, or though groups we might meet up in, or even in line at the grocery store, where I’ve met more than my share of sisters.  I think that my own step-sister became upset when she read this thinking it was about her…

…and I hope she never enters this reluctant cancer sisterhood. I hope one day there’s not a single woman left in this sisterhood.