Here to Stay

Location

 

I hear the words,

They echo

Like a trigger that’s just

Let go

Not a shriek could sum up words I could not say

 

I release my fear

And listen

Let my jaw drop

Tearstains glisten

Upon the words of diagnosis:

 

Cancer’s here to stay.

 

My scream held so much silence,

Much that could not bear its own

Momma’s got it, yes, she’s caught it,

And it will not leave my home!

 

Tears fall, collect, and gang up

Building walls around my head

I could not release the silence,

If the silence was past dead

 

‘Twas a broken home to start with,

Yes, my mother knew this well,

For my father’s safe in Heaven

While we’re forced upon this hell

 

His absence left a gap in us

That simply couldn’t fill

No matter all the sympathy

It could not heal and never will

 

But with this news, so startling

The days flew by as seconds

A month was just a blur of blue,

A year I could not reckon

 

Yet, the minutes gained attention

As progressed this cruel detention

For the minutes that stayed with us

Were the ones I’m scared to mention,

 

And although we saw the future

And this time, with no extension

We could not turn the words away:

 

Cancer’s here to stay.

 

Still fortunate to have the moments,

Little as may be,

A fight, a laugh, a precious tear

Just barely held down gravity

 

But time went by, and more still went

As the lord spat in our face

With awful news I would not know,

Until her fate picked up its pace

 

The eighteenth of November,

Carved deep into my skull,

Was the day I heard my momma murmur,

'Bout her senses going dull

 

I didn’t think it much,

Or was numb to what I felt

Until she said, so brutally

That she had taken what life dealt

 

She only had a day, she feared

Confessed this to her daughter, dear

Upon a special day of birth

'Twas the day of my sixteenth year

 

And though still here, her body geared

For treacherous relief, unclear

Of what the heavens would provide

For a woman singed inside

With sins no soul would dare to say...

 

But finally,

 

Her cancer

 

 

Went

 

 

 

Away.

 

Guide that inspired this poem: 

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