Prose - In The Cancer Ward

Where fear lives
Hope struggles
To survive
Where anger exists
Dignity fights
To remain alive
Silent worry
Met by prayer
As mortality looms
We smell
Burning denial
And death’s pungent fumes
And now
The seeker
Will roam
Walking the halls
Of God’s message
When will he be called home?
The door
Of pain
And agony
Opens
It is time
For your testimony
Of who you were
And how you waited
Living with tomorrow’s promise
Which suddenly
Is upon you
The doubting Thomas
Do you stand
In your confusion?
Or do you kneel?
Helpless and alone
With your ego’s sword
Now melted steel
Who will make you strong
As uncertainty reigns
And drops its unmerciful curtain?
Who will win?
And who will lose?
Once assured now uncertain
You witness
Laughter and joy
As a prayer is met
With clemency
And grace
As God did not forget
Will you utter an aging promise
With tears from closed eyes?
Giving another false pledge?
Delivered only upon
Your need for God
As you crawl along the edge
Of the end
Of life
Or is it a new beginning?
What will you learn?
How will you live?
Will it be about giving?
You walked into the chamber
And judged yourself
With God’s own revelation
The picture
One of failure
And embraced temptation
When you return
And plead for your life
Or that of another
Will you remember this day
And how you begged
To be mercy’s lover?

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Comments 17 comments

shygirl2 5 years ago

Wow! Very powerful poetry. Sad, but a true eye-opener to not knowing when, how or why. Voted this one up and beautiful. Makes one definitely think!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@shygirl2 - thanks for commenting so quickly. I was at MD Anderson in Houston getting my annual check-up (I had thyroid cancer); now I'm considered a survivor... I saw some grim faces walking around... I also saw laughter... it's a spiritual place and after my appointment I lingered in the hallways for a bit before I made my trip back to my life here with all the mortals...


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina

Excellent! You never know when you might be next, do you? Voted up!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@resspenser - thank you and yes that is the point... you never know... suddenly you look up and as Roger Waters wrote: "Ten years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun..."

There is another quote by Robert Plant: "Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there's still time to change the road you're on," and in the movie "The Song Remains The Same" he exclaims, "I hope so..."


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

a tragically spellbinding read! Great job!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Great stuff here Prose Man! I have a friend going through the treatments. War is hell. War against "this hell" is pretty rough. One knows that "treatment" is to keep them alive. It's seems - "less devine". Even in war there seems "chance". In this war - faith must be coupled with doubt, medicine, repetitive treatments, experiments, etc. We all - continuously - know someone on this death bed.

God bless you Suburban Poet!!!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

It was significant how you brought into it the way people tend to beseech mercy when tragedy is nipping at our heels and yet how quickly we forget when things go well later. The truth is that we are all always on our death bed in a sense. We are born to live - and to die. We need to give life every edge we can, but, instead, it seems that we often flirt with death as though we could seduce it to spare us.

This captures some of all of it.


SheZoe profile image

SheZoe 5 years ago from Idaho, USA

wow-these were incredibly potent words. heartwrenching. and Nellieanna, your statement about flirting with death was also.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Micky - thanks again man... sometimes it's easier to be the patient even with the pain because you have your purpose while your loved one's suffer the agony of impending loss... they don't know how they will go on if you are taken from them... They built their life around you and your presence in their life becomes apparent and for that time the vividness of their need for you and your love overwhelms everything else....


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Nellieanna - this is why I like to go to the cancer ward... it brings me closer to that count your blessings feeling that is so important. It really angers me when I allow small things to bug me. Why can't I feel this way all the time? Why do I have to witness the pain and the death? Why do I forget? The delusion of living is a huge mystery to me...


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@SheZoe - thank you and yes Nellieanna is very wise and very aware of life is it and how it can be...


quildon profile image

quildon 5 years ago from Florida

Voted up and powerful. As a healthcare worker, I always say everyone should visit, not just the cancer ward, but the hospital or nursing home. What an eyeopener!


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

You can't feel this way all the time because human thought processes/feelings living in the chaos most of us deal with doesn't allow it. You can't help letting small things get to you because you've kicked the big one! I've a friend who is one of only two survivors of an extremely rare form of cancer; I truly appreciate your comments on behalf of family. She said the same thing about hers. quildon, you're so right; why I used to regularly take my son to nursing home to see his great-grandmother. He doesn't remember her, but he remembers the lady whose family never came and let him run his hotwheels on her wheelchair tray! Nurses said she never smiled other times, and he still remembers her 30 years later! Anyone see the movie, "the Doctor" (I think) William Hurt? Good film on this subject, if not as good as your hub!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@K. Burns - I'm sorry! I missed your post when I approved some of the others... thank you for the very kind remarks. I've been feeling very connected to life and death lately... it's weird... we had a fire today less than 100 yards from the building where I work; then on the way home I almost rear-ended someone when the line on the freeway backed up suddenly and I swerved to the lane next to me which luckily was open... yesterday I found out my college roommates wife has cancer and is battling for her life... Then I watched the youtube video of Carrie Underwood singing "How Great Thou Art" and started tearing up a little... it's all so fragile and my poem is a warning to all to get their house in order because you never know when your story will end...


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Quildon - thank you and you are so right... it always hits me when I go and like I said, I like to linger to let it all soak in...

@Teylina - I agree... we need down-time... but for many that down-time becomes a way of life and I'm as guilty as the next guy... I hate how shallow I can be sometimes. I think that's why the poetry stuff has such a hold on me because I want to rise above petty things.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

You have, SP, you have, and you do each time you write!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Teylina - thank you... you are too kind...

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