Knotted seams gather scrubbed skin
and titanium plumbs a heart–
guide wires routing an improvised pulse
and tracing an erratic existence.
In the beginning doctors said
genetic mistake, detrimental
mutation, one in 10,000
statistically speaking. God’s will.
At night we wrestle with angels.
Celestial static, incandescent
blue they search our souls
and finger a laboring heart,
heavy like dense lumpy clay
waterlogged and unformed.
About the poet:
Cheryl Lewis has a BS in communication from Ohio University, where she works as an administrative associate and co-teaches an online course entitled “Cyber Crimes Against Children.” Her publications have appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Astropoetica, The Aurorean, Blue Collar Review, Now and Then: The Appalachian Magazine and The Healing Muse.
About the poem:
“As in much of my poetry, the words are mine, but the stories belong to others. I listen and feel their emotions. What remains is the beginning of a poem. When something painful happens, especially to a child, we look for a reason. A child born with a serious health problem is devastating to the parents; they’re often left with lingering guilt and the question ‘Why did this happen?’ This poem drew on a mother’s grief as she watched her three-year-old son endure yet another surgery. I am in awe of the strength shown by parents in day-to-day life with a sick child.”
Johanna Shapiro and Judy Schaefer