Not a Child

The day I realized I was no longer a child,

Was the day the washer beeped and I got up, tired. 

That day in the summer of my sixth grade,

I realized I watched my childhood fade. 

 

When my mom returned from work for the evening,

I knew well her strength was rapidly weaning. 

And on the bad nights, I could hear my parents weeping, 

On the nights when they thought I had been long since sleeping. 

 

The weeks dragged on and on, as her hair began to fall,

She tried to hide the fact she was unwillingly bald. 

As my dad and I saw her perpetual tired. 

And that one sad day, when I called my mom a liar. 

Yelling at her that she had longer to live, 

and hospice was not her new sad live in

Screaming I knew that it hurt and she felt pain within

But her breast cancer would not get the best of her,

She had longer to live. 

 

I continued the chores, and helped with the shopping,

Even though I knew it would ultimately end in nothing. 

So my mother pressed on, despite the agony,

We waited for the CT scan to come back with anxiety. 

 

When the results returned, they brought salty tears. 

Her bones were hollow, the cancer was within. 

It had spread through her body, into her brain. 

Anyone who looked could see her pain. 

 

The doctors wanted to put a hole right in her head, 

To get the chemo in faster while she was in bed. 

But she looked at me with tears in her eyes, 

And she said, “This is where I draw the line”. 

 

By that time I had learned that my tears were fatal. 

If I broke down, my parents became unable. 

So I held them back, and nodded my head,

“We would rather have you at home instead”. 

 

With that we returned home, windows boarded up, 

And my dad and I kept our lips sealed shut. 

For we knew all too well 

Light or noise could case her to flair. 

 

I continued my school,

Then straight to the pool, 

Until my old coach

Pulled me away 

On my dad’s birthday

 

Her eyes were so sad, 

as she shook her head,

looked at me and said, 

“She’s gone”. 

 

But I need not ask who, 

For I very well knew. 

It was my mom she meant,

And was referring to. 

 

I grew more than twenty years,

In less than three,

I was more mature

Than the naked eye could see. 

 

But let me tell you, 

That never stopped me

There’s so much more

That life holds for me. 

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My family

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