Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday Poem: Chemotherapy

who knew she was there
hidden inside that thing that turns
her girl upside down and inside out
(poison, really, a small inefficient
killing field) let loose in a body still
young enough to smell of milk
in the morning, one the mother must
return to sit beside and stand over    
to stroke the soft cheek, catch the soft
vomit, be steel to all that softness — a shield —
and, when called upon, to scream
like a banshee      yet, for the most part,
sits beside is all she can do, hands in lap

but running the spellcheck just now
over the girl’s story — all those
words, sharp teeth biting at the last
of life’s full belly — there she is! mother
over and over:  the unexpected heart
of the matter, with key on one side,
and happy on the other

Mary McCallum

This poem is for my friend Jan. Do check out other Tuesday Poems  - there's the magnificent Bogong Moth on the hub and then in the sidebar you can find 30 poets with poems they've posted especially for today. Enjoy! 


Fifi Colston said...

love and heart and well chosen words to hold it xxx

Claire Beynon said...

Mary, this is a powerfully moving and tender poem. A true poem. A love-in-action poem.

Thank you.

C x

Helen McKinlay said...

very strong and beautiful without sentiment.

Michelle Elvy said...

Yes, powerful poem -- both hard and soft. I love how you do that here. Such a poem is not easy to write.

Cattyrox said...

Love this Mary - thank you for posting.