Down to the last second
They say only the good die young
But if age is just a number
Then to whom does this apply
Especially when we know
There’s not enough good in this world
To make that true
My mother was 58
Cancer came for her like
Like Lucifer, falling from heaven and into her lungs
She’d had pain for years,
But she had learned to endure it
Kicked out as a teenager
Marrying my abusive father
And surviving me
She learned to live with pain until
Pain became a squatter in her body
She looked for answers in the eyes of doctors
Who had too little time
And checked their watches and tapped screens
Removed her gallbladder – not the pain
Gave her cortisol injections – still wrong
Finally a CT scan showed the the serpent
That wrapped itself around her lungs
And her spine and down to her hip
And there was a spot in her brain
Small C cell, which had taken my
Mother’s mother 4 years prior
And may take me one day
The call came one day in early June
My stepfather, a Scorpio like me
With a voice like sandpaper but kind eyes
That could stare through you
His voice quivering like the steering wheel
Of a misaligned car
What’s the stage? 4
How long does she got? We aren’t sure
Where is she – by the door
Falling into pieces because she couldn’t tell me herself
That she was dying
She couldn’t tell me that she would set off
A season of loss, grief, hardships, sadness
She couldn’t tell me that she’d have to let go
And I would fall apart
Instead, she did all the treatments
With the best Oncologists in Michigan
And they’d defeated the serpent
And demolished the spot like the old
Vegas hotels
That November my mother decided to drive
Across the country to Arizona alone
Independent to the end
She said she wanted to be with me and the girls
But I think she knew
That I wouldn’t get across the country in time
So she came to us
And began to die
The VA wouldn’t give her the MRI to her brain
With anesthesia
They told her, it’s just stress
Like it was just her gallbladder
Like it was just back pain
Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went
And she started to forget
Who she was
Where she lived
At 3am in January she was found wandering
The police at my door ask me to
Beg her to go to the hospital
She knows this is her last ride
The x-rays showed the serpent came back
Crawled through the debris in her brain
Liberally sprinkling it like too much sugar
In the koolaid
Kill the head and the body must die
Within 3 days she could no longer speak
Within 8 hours she was in hospice
And 27 hours later, tears slipped down her eyes
As she slipped away into her wings
I told her I would be okay
We both knew it was a lie
© byjaztaihreen