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"Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

HOPE and HOPELESS it's two for Tuesday over at Poetic Asides

After the Poetry Festival, I will try to get caught up with my challenge poems and will put them up here as I do them, but it might take a couple of days ...

Hope tells you it is morning as sunlight slides under your door
on a beam
Hope gives you reason to live long after logic and doctors have said, there’s no use
Hope is the tiny hand grasping your finger as you hold your first child
in your arms
Hope is the catch in your throat when the creak on the stairs announces she’s home

Hope is the pussy-willow bush fuzzy with too-soon when there’s
still snow falling
Hope is a lone goose circling the pond searching for a soul-mate
it has lost for now
Hope is the robin’s two note trill heralding that Spring has returned
to your land
Hope is the colour of water glimmering through ice as the sun
melts it gone

Hope is holding your breath when your baby has her baby and you
feel young again
Hope is irrational and beautiful, when things go askew and ugly,
and you want to give up
Hope makes you go forward, makes you believe things will get better,
if you just wait
Hope is a gift from the universe to be nurtured, treasured, shared,
and passed on.


Not a Hallmark Card – on the front “Right to Die”
Inside “Go Left”

I bought the card on a whim
More because it appealed
To my political sensibilities
Than anything else, knowing
Well I would likely never send
It to anyone – I mean who,
If they were dying, could I joke with
So cavalierly, that I would feel
Comfortable enough to send
them this card

Enter my best friend’s
Husband – he, of the same
Political stripe as me but
Definitely not fortunate enough
To share my robust (knock on wood)
Physical health – in fact
When he was finally
Diagnosed – and that is a
Story all on its own
The length of time it took
For his doctor to take
His pain seriously –

He was in fourth stage
Terminal, inoperable
Cancer – some rare,
unpronounceable form of
Leukemia that had by that
Time invaded every part
Of him and was leeching
Away his life

However, as soon as he
Learned what was wrong
He became determined
To fight and not just fight
But to win; he carried
A picture of his wife -
My friend - and their two
Young daughters, every-
Where; and he started

Calling in markers – friends
In medical school he had
Helped get part-time jobs,
Anyone he could think of
That he had helped or might
Be able to help in the future,
He contacted to assist him in
Getting the ball rolling – and get
It rolling he did – he came

To the attention of doctors
At a cancer institute two
Hours away from his home
Who wondered if he would
Let them try some radical
New stem-cell treatments
Using his own stem-cells;
Highly experimental but
Also highly promising and,
While they didn’t say it aloud
It was implied – he was going
To die anyhow – what did
He have to lose?

Long story, not too much
Longer – I took a chance
And sent him my card ...
He loved it! Added it to
The precious pictures he
Carried everywhere and
Said some days it was what
Kept him going – he needed
To be able to laugh that
Much – I could only imagine

The thing of it is – he was
Written off by almost everyone
As a hopeless case – even those
Doing the experimental stuff
Only expected to prolong his
Life, and not by much

Now – almost six years later,
He’s back painting his wonderful
oils, playing old-timers’ hockey
Helping my friend raise their
Family, and “working too hard” –
As my friend says, he’s hopeless.

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