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Cancer Update Number 12 via YouTube

He speaks of Kali maa, goddess of time
while chemo and radiation pin him to the clock.

As if confessing to a thievery of time,
when they neared one hundred years,

my parents said they never expected to live so long.
Their time unfolded like a painted fan.

Einstein was wrong, you know. Time is not an illusion.
Our watches testify: Each moment destroys another moment.

Time is real. A measuring stick
of progression-free survival.

A wildness of cells in my son’s body.
Ticking.

I pause the video mid-sentence.
In the kitchen, the refrigerator hums.

The dogs bark at a someone passing by.
Pressing replay, I re-form the minutes.

Hours escape like steam from grandmother’s kettle
and wait like stars in daylight to return in the long dark.

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Julia Morris Paul is a poet and elder-law attorney. Her poetry can be found in national and international journals including The Comstock Review, Here, Radar Poetry, New Mexico Review, Mud Season Review, Minerva Rising and Mom Egg Review. Her work also appears in the anthologies Under the Bridges of America, Forgotten Women and Waking Up to the Earth. Her poem “Dear Coroner, How Could You Know” appeared in the Pushcart Prize XLVII: Best of the Small Presses 2022. Her collection Shook is published by Grayson Books and her chapbook Staring Down the Tracks by the Poetry Box. A strong believer in poetry as a powerful and necessary form of communication, she leads the Riverwood Poetry Series, a long-running poetry-reading series in Hartford, CT.

About the Poem

“My son provides updates on YouTube regarding his cancer status as well as his thoughts about life, the universe, war, grief and other topics. This poem captures the emotion of watching him on video while aware that some day too soon he will be survived by these videos that have captured his laughter, thoughts and spirit.”

Comments

4 thoughts on “Cancer Update Number 12 via YouTube”

  1. Joyce Hodgson Post

    Julia, I have loved your poetry for years, and applaud your ability to use some of the most heartbreaking moments in your life to allow us into your mind and heart. I pray for you and your family and your son as you go through yet another moment that no parent should experience. Sending much love, Joyce.

  2. This is beautiful. I would love to see him on YouTube if you want to share his channel. My heart goes out to you, him, and your entire family

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