"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Brave Countdown

The morning sun doesn’t know
I will have to be brave.
It rises in the east in ordinary rays.

Another knife has been sharpened
with the letters of my name.
I dread the count to oblivion.

Positive lost its sunny spin
when carvings of flesh
revealed the dreaded word, cancer.

White light stares at me
with its glare of anonymity,
my name already forgotten in sterile walls.

Count down from one hundred.
I don’t wish to mumble in syllables.
Five is a better place to start.

5  (B)
4  (R)
3  (A)
2  (V)
1  (E)

©Susie Clevenger 2013

On November 7, 2008 my daughter, Dawn, lost her left kidney to cancer. She had already gone through numerous surgeries and biopsies through the years.  I am not really sure what was going through her mind on that day, but somehow I think it played out this way.

Fireblossom at Real Toads had us writing free verse.
Free Verse: My Love In Her Wild Magnificence


Kerry O'Connor said...

This is heart-breaking to read, Susie. You present the poem from the viewpoint of the sufferer, but I also feel the suffering of a mother for her daughter. Illness affects so many people, and each must be brave in his or her own way.

Robyn Greenhouse said...

Your poem pulled at my heart. First when I read it as the patient and then again knowing it was written from a Mother about her daughter.

Susan said...

What Kerry said. I hope she is well now.
And also the form of the poem is like a slow seeping of tears and a gulp. To go into anesthesia under the knife is a prayer and the mantra of bravery is one of the best. Thank you for this poem for a way-too-common experience.

Loredana Donovan said...

Oh that must have been so scary for both you and your daughter. It does take a lot of courage to confront illness and it's hard on the sufferers as well as on those close to them. Your poem has strong imagery to convey powerful emotions of fear and courage. Well done on the free verse style. Hope your daughter is doing well.

hedgewitch said...

Susie, you bring the uncomfortable, unmentionable and frightening to the fore and make us see it for what is important about it--not the tragedy, but the struggle of the human spirit over the weakness of our human bodies. It is indeed summed up in your last five letters.

Hannah said...

This makes my throat tighten emotively...for this month a good friend of mine has been diagnosed with cancer, (Hodgkin's Lymphoma), and it walloped me upside the head.

Your poem is amazing, Susie and my heart goes out to you and your daughter. ♥

Susie Swanson said...

Awe, this brings tears.. I feel your pain in this poem.. You really touched my heart with this.. Bless you. Hope all is going good for her now..

Marian said...

beautiful, Susie. i really feel this.

Fireblossom said...

From the title to the inventive ending, this is the real thing.

Peggy said...

This is beautifully done and heart wrenching when I re-read it knowing it was your daughter. I too hope she is well now. Being a parent is so difficult at times--bravery is definitely needed.

Mixi said...

Such a poignant, heart-wrenching poem, so full of fear and courage all at once... It must have been scary for both of you - as one going through the ordeal, and as a mother having to watch their child go through it...

A beautiful piece...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Yes, this is the real thing. Love what Joy says about the struggle of the human spirit. This poem hits very close to home for me. It lights my way.

Heaven said...

Such a heart searing and emotional share Susie ~ I pray for courage for her and the family ~

aprille said...

Oh those numbing countdowns...Especially on behalf of a loved one. And then you, able to encapsulate that in a poem!

Judy Roney said...

This touches me deeply. What an incredible poem of bravery. I can hear all the voices joining this one in this poem. You speak for so many here.

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