Does the Buddha Play Pool?

Come Medicine Buddha

Come shine your rays upon me
Penetrate deep within my body
To quell my queasy stomach
And soothe my aching bones.

Let those golden arrows
Shoot deep within my frame
Extinguishing the round tumors
That live inside of me.

Like a pool cue poised and ready
Aim straight for the triangle
Number 6 in right side pocket
Red 4 to far left corner.

Knocking away each colored ball
Dropping steadily into the pockets
Clearing away the hard assortment
Until only white and black remain.

The 8 ball holding fast
White blood cell gearing up.

And, then, a final shot–and POP!
No more colored balls
The table’s cleared. 

About the poet: 

Lenora Lapidus is an attorney and the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. She litigates and engages in advocacy in courts throughout the United States and in international human-rights forums. Her work addresses economic justice, violence against women, educational equity and women and girls in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. She has written and read poetry for many years. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and daughter. 

About the poem: 

This poem was written shortly after I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer that had spread to my bones. It was one of several poems that I wrote during this time. I found the process of writing poetry very therapeutic.

Poetry editors:

Judy Schaefer and Johanna Shapiro

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