A Mother’s Cancer, In a Poem

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A Meeting, Eventually

It was a taking-away for you—
eight years of Providence
slow unfolding—
like cloud-shadows
passing over low, green fields—
as the obedient soul
yields to its story’s ending.

Perhaps I shall yield as well
at a point I cannot foretell—
though you may see
an altered course:
a truck weaving up
the blind-side of a hill,
or the lonely iceberg
sitting utterly still.


Note: My mother died of breast cancer when I was 8 years old. I later learned that she had first discovered a tumor when she was pregnant with me. When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer almost 50 years later, I felt like we had come full circle somehow—had something in common—and wondered under what fatal circumstances we might meet again.