Margo Connors

it just is

she has cancer

my mother.

at first
it didn’t seem so bad

then
over the months
with each test
each treatment

the bad grew
to outweigh
the good.

it is hard
to imagine
life without
the woman who
gave you life

i have only known
the world
with mom
in it

i simply cannot
imagine it
without her.

watching
the cancer progress
helps

she is
being eaten away
from the inside

it is preparing me
for the day
she will not be here
at all.

most days
you can forget
and live as if
life were normal

though i am sure
she can’t

then something will
hit you
like a punch
in the stomach

like the ones
my brother
perfected

the unseen hurts

i look at
my mother
pleadingly

silently wishing
her
to make it right

but of course
she can’t

she is dying

and that is all there is to it.

nothing
can be done.

we bring her
treats

wine and scallops
are sorry consolation
for losing your life

but at this stage
creature comforts
are all she has

other than that
we try not
to cry

when we see her walk
as if her feet
were glass

we try not
to remember
the woman she was

spry
smart
present

before the cancer came

because
it hurts
too much

we will remember

after.

for now
it seems so little
a favour to do

to not react

when she
throws up

or messes
her pants

or tells
a story
for the
sixth time

she knows
ya know

she can tell

just like
she always knew

mom always knows

if she
gets a hint
she has told
the story
before
she will simply
stop talking

she has
her pride

then we will lose
what little
we have left
of her

and so
we bring
her treats

and listen
to her stories

as we
watch her

slowly
die

thankful
we get to say
i love you

one
more
time

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