Poem: You Should Write About the Fear

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You Should Write About the Fear

“You should write about the fear.” she said.
“It’s six months out, and perhaps less raw.
People are fearful now, and it might help.”

My hand drifts absently down to my belly
and the collection of six scars.
I barely remember the fear of the time.
Shock is like that.
It was one day at a time, at times
just one hour at a time
for months before, and even here, now
months after.

Not so much the fear of dying.
I have danced close to that drear druid
before. He is no stranger to me
and I lost my fear of him when I was but eighteen.

It is the manner. The pain, the possibility
of months and years of being so unable,
of the loss I might leave behind, those ripples
of how much less I might become, and have,

and never knowing that in that less,
there might be more, something different emerge.
It was only being able to feel the moment
and the moment being this terrible thing
that could kill me in little descendant notes,

the possibility that I would be robbed of the joy
in a woman newly discovered, children newly launched,
in a lack of possibility stolen by mere survival.

That was the fear. And part of it still lurks.
The recovery so strong, so good, and yet still,
so incomplete and you wonder, despite the progress,
despite the rehab,
despite the still day to day work of it all,
how much of you will return
and how much will not,
and more importantly,
what you will replace the missing parts with,
how you can calm the ripples of loss
and replace them with something more,
waves of power and joy.

About this poem. 

This morning early, as we were cuddled up in bed, the cats just beginning to get restless, the woman I love suggested I write of the fear I felt during my battle with cancer this year.

It is a hard thing for me to write about because I have not still processed it. It was not a crippling thing, this fear. Not at all. I got through it all with better than average spirits, and mostly on a positive note. I was fortunate, as cancer goes.

But there was fear, and all these months later, it is due some thought and reflection. It’s no good in stuffing emotion too long. It has a tendency to fester. So here is a start.

Tom

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