Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work

MAY 12, 2017

One of the nicest parts of our annual Celebration of Life was the publication of writings, poems and essays and short stories, written by our patients. We still have a few copies of the last book that contained some favorites from twenty years of COL. If you are interested, let me know, and I will send it to you.

Today's poem comes from Colleen who shared it in a nice email. It is from the Georgia Review:

After Chemo

by Cleopatra Mathis

They never expected me back.

Mice took the house,

burrowing into linens and tissues.

Vent or crack, they nestled in—

half an inch will do it. A bed

in the stove's insulation, clever

lacuna between the oven and fire.

I am not the same and they know it.

Afraid of what I might touch

wherever I reach, connections

severed, all the lines chewed.

My house is a sieve. In and out they go

with sunflower hulls, cartilage bits,

nesting, nesting . . .

Winter will shut me

in with the stink, trapped in a Havahart

I can't empty. It's a matter of waiting,

bone cells burned through, decaying.

Colleen went on to say this:

I called Missouri Review. The editor there told me about another poet, Jessica Jacobs, who had just published in their Fall '17 issue:

  • When Your Surgeon Brought Snapshots to the Waiting Room
  • Though We Made Love in the Afternoons
  • from In the Days between Detection and Diagnosis
  • When My Job Is to Wait

Here is a link for those:https://www.missourireview.com/article/poetry-feature-jessica-jacobs/  

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
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