Sunday, August 27, 2006

Another poem for Daffodil Day

Here is a poem I wrote about my brother Douglas a few years ago. It is relevant to Daffodil Day when we siblings were asked to consider taking part in a bone marrow transplant, but in the end it was too late anyway.

You and I
I received a phone call last night
You know what is was about
I am afraid for you and for me
You love life, walking amongst timber
I feel your night pain tied to tubes
You smile your confident smile
I am not so sure, not sure at all
You haven’t read the literature
I have read a fraction
You have ten per cent chance they say
I can give you that chance
You can take the running on zero white cells
I am a person who freaks out in imagining
You are in the present tense
I am in the future
You trust implicitly in men of knowledge
I fear the professor and his students
You act jolly with nurses and their rhythms
I just look through the 10th floor window
You say it’s a beautiful day outside
I see pollution, nuclear testing, disease
You and your children phone me expectantly
I love you, don’t get me wrong
You wait patiently still running on empty
I cannot look you in the eye if I refuse.

When the doctor brings the test results
the wife disbelieves, turns away,
cleans the house.
The mother demands answers, gossips,
chills with her words.
The daughter shouts knowledge, reads,
compares, is angry.
I the sister question the future,
am breathless in empathy.
The patient knows, accepts,
watches football, is silent.


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