The eclipse of the body
shatters light
shatters darkness.

Cells multiply
starving with growth.

I stumble under the surge
of my body gone awry.
I stumble with illness.

Therapies diminish.
Treatments erode.
Holes and gaps are everywhere.

Cells multiply
starving with growth.

There is a name for this chaos
But I hesitate to let it pass my lips.

Each day I search the sky
I search inside. Cancer
brings on new solar fragments.

Cells multiply
starving with growth.

My hands press words
like breasts
pressed in pain.

Words shape into poems
that bind in strength.
Words are my prayers.


I walk, leaving the wheelchair behind where
imprisoned emotions refuse escape.
From one house window to another
there is only darkness and wet glass.

Two radios play - one for each ear.
With television they ruffle sounds,
and break isolation. I refuse to give up
bleakness which becomes my badge.

Pompeii is flickering on my favorite channel
showing ancient deaths. Mine is closer.
A sentence is what I always wanted,
not sudden departure without farewells.

My volcanic ash is disease.
Life can stop by a doctor's prediction.
But I move days backwards,
and smile at those who watch me.

Strength becomes air I breathe.
Light colors my skin, rosy, and
fragrant with health.
Greyness outside is only temporary.


Your chart is closed,
the victim of surgery.
Your heart refused
their technology,
it refused to be repaired.

They said you had
a better than even chance
this time. But you remembered
their quavering glance, you remembered

and asked "why now?"
You asked them as they turned
and you asked me. But how
could I tell you what I knew
only in my heart and not in my head?

We never talked about it again.
Did you see the answer
in my eyes? Did you guess and then
put the thought away or
did it haunt you until the end?

Each morning I woke you early
and while you bathed I changed
your linen and gave you instant coffee
and touched your hand
ever so slightly.

And on the last day
we started early.
Your room filled with family.
The youngest grandchild, a baby,
nestled momentarily

in your arms. You smiled.
This could have taken place
in some ancient land -
the ceremonial grace
with which goodbyes were said.


White caps dot the lake while the last
ferry rocks on stormy water.
The ferryman stands, his back visible
to those who hurry to leave one shore.

White flags for surrender
brush in and out the door.
Nurses move briskly, not silently.
They are not at my beck and call.

I can no longer speak.
A coin weights each eye
of the traveler to pay
for his journey.

My eyes no longer desire
to look and there is no turning back.
This journey draws near but
I have a lack of gold to pay my way.

River Styx is near.
The white flags hurry
to bring me on life's track
but instead I pay death with a tear.