Cancer Song

(for my mother and all who endure it)

It marches to the dripping
Of the gaunt, scarecrow IV
Decorated with drooping, hanging
Family pictures,
And to the slither of platooned
Nurses in white smocks
Up sterile white halls
Filled with sterile white silence.
The youth group sent cards
That sit on the dresser
Beside her bedpan
And she laughs,
With her children and her
Husband who wants to be
A thousand times Sparticus,
At their self-portraits
Which require great imagination.
She makes her struggle,
Her daily walk,
Down the hall and back,
Her only form of exercise,
Then goes to sleep in her
Hospital bed, which seems
Pyre-like to the family
And they pray for miracles
And white blood cells
Then look out
The window over the glowing
Night-scape of Cleveland.

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