Friday, June 27, 2014

poem of the day 06.27.14

through a tube

she says, remember my husband’s cancer?

i don’t want to have this conversation
but i don't have anywhere to go
because this is my job

maybe she has no one to talk to

yes, i tell her

well they got it out. 
fifteen hours of surgery
skin cancer that got trapped in the jaw

can you believe it? she says

i don’t say anything
i catch myself rubbing my chin and stop

that’s why i didn’t pick
these books up on time, she says
because i was at the hospital with him

it’s all right, i say

he wanted to read them so badly
but he couldn’t do much of anything
for a month

he’s staying with his parent’s now
and my son is helping me out at home

that’s a good kid, i tell her

my husband is on chemo, she says
it’s not too bad
but he’s sick a lot of the time

he’s lost so much weight, she says

i nod
the co-worker next to me sighs

all of this sickness is interfering with
his video games and rabid animal videos

the weight isn’t the worst part, she says

what is? i ask

it’s that he can’t eat anything
it’s all liquid, she says

that’s the worst part seeing him like that
taking his food through a tube

she smiles and picks up the stack of books
looks me dead in the eye

my goodness, she says
the way that man used to love a good meal.


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