Sunday, April 9, 2017

Flavor of Hope

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Cancer is not just a word.
It is tightness,
like ringing out a wet cloth with two fists
pressed firmly together,
but no matter how long the fists remain clenched
the cloth remains damp;
It is constraint,
like a dietary restriction to two tiny
pomegranate seeds while
the rest of the goddess fruit lay
within reach,

the opposite of free,
like four generations of
Black men in the same privately
operated prison pressed against the
wall while wearing chains;

it is promises to God and country and
mostly questions to self:
if- I-get-the-chance-there’s-gonna-be-a new-me,
why doesn’t that mirror recognize me?

it is 365 prayers per day,
but mostly for them that can’t
imagine or don’t want
to consider the entire life cycle;

it is strange dreams
tears, fear, medication, pacing,
late night phone calls,
tension headaches,
errors, cellular mutations,
and proliferation like blackberry
bushes in July;

it is distance like standing
In the room with a best friend
and having nothing to say
because these might be the
final words;

it is emotion that gets stuck in the throat,
a lump that can only be sung away
with bellows grounded deeply in faith;

it is like a scooped handful
of mystery filled chocolates
-all the favorite flavors of hope;

it is solidarity in spite of a bitter past,
another chance, perfect strangers
amazing nurses, fasting, reconciliation,
leaping with joy.
shouting! remission!  
praises in every tongue,
pink ribbons,
glory, survival,
and above all