Thursday, September 3, 2015

Odes to Loretta

I wrote several poems celebrating Loretta after her cancer diagnosis four years ago. I share two of them here.

A Life on the Brink

Senior citizen
Now retired
But always and ‘er
The teacher.

Any topic
Church, world, metaphysics
Any place
Hers, mine, a coffee shop.

Never preaching
Only talking.
Her very being
Enriches me.

Disease’s stricken her
Slowly taking energy
And vibrancy
Threatening life.

Days are fuller now
But shorter
Filled with hope about treatment
With prayer … brief activities … love.

Barbs as Good News

My friend had stabbing, debilitating back pain. Tough though she is, all she could do was hide from it by slumping in sleep in her living room chair. Movement from the kitchen table to that chair was slow, deliberate, and reminded me of the walking dead from the movie of years gone by. A visit to the Emergency Room surrounded by two nights resulted in a transformation that is hard to imagine and even harder to describe.

Sharp stabs of back pain,
She retreats to sleep to cope.
Her new barbs cheer me.
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