Monday, February 19, 2007

My Poetry: Mom

My friend Stewart has recently begun a disscusion about poetry on his site and mentioned a piece of free-verse I'd sent him, so I thought I might post it here to torment you all. I took a creative writing class to sharpen my prose and learn more about my craft and I've found that most of what we do is write poetry thus far. I like poetry, mostly about dead guys, but I'd like to expand my horizons since we publish poems in the magazine. The topic was health and disease, so I tried a form I haven't used before and took my mother's fight with cancer as my muse. As will become quite obvious, I still have issues.

The fallen angels and brimstone were replaced by orderlies and antiseptic but I knew where we were. The screaming and moaning gave it away. I cut up her French toast. She had scrambled eggs and bacon, orange juice, and a glass of milk. They said she was too well to stay in the hospital. They were moving her to a nursing home across the street. She would come back for radiation treatments. She could move her legs again. What do I want she asked. I started to make a joke, but then she began to tremble. Her face contorted terribly, her eyes rolled up; her limbs pulled in like a dying bug’s. I cried out and buzzed the nurses. She’d had her first seizure you see, because her brain was speckled with cancer like pepper on eggs. She caught pneumonia. The port in her chest through which she’d once received life-giving chemo was infected. She shut down. They said she must have aspirated some food into her lungs when she had her seizure. Fat grave worm tumors burrowed through her body again. I begged her not to leave. I told her she had to live so that, when I had kids, they would know how wonderful she was. Her organs shut down. She looked jaundiced, like a dull lemon, as toxins built up. I signed off on a request to take her off the machines keeping her body alive. It took twenty-two minutes for her to strangle to death on the fluids in her lungs. I held her hand the whole time and died with her.