Living As An Alien


You prefer to close your eyes,
to go down into the basement.
A room at first so alien and frightening,
but then day in, day out,
there are the nurses and friends made
and a familiarity that is almost home.

You’d rather be sent back up
into a world that is full of light
and noise and life. You wear a watch
because the waiting is endless.
The next appointment, the next test,
the eternal rooms of frightened faces.
Silence occasionally broken by a phone ringing,
someone’s too loud recollection of horror.

Your son gave you one of his worry dolls
because you were always a worrier
even before cancer gave you a reason to sweat.
He wasn’t judging, he kept one for himself
and held you tighter than you’ve ever been held.
You painted a vase for a friend because you always
wanted to be an artist somehow and…

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