The Dancer

The Dancer
Beautiful cancer
Moving softly
Like a dancer through your blood,
To pirouette through lung and brain
And your bones
And your bones
And your bones
Are all that will remain.

It eats you.
It burns you.
Teaches you from the inside
Breeding immortal

Who could hear it grow inside of you?

Immune to herblore and medication,
Chemicals and radiation,
To grant you the time for consideration
Of your life till now
And all that made you a shadow.

I caught a cursed glance of you naked
And there was nothing there.
Your ribs protruded like the chrome venting on a machine
With no purpose, no design, for the human body
As the flesh hangs dull
Especially capped by your mottled skull.
You have no need for that expression of vacancy
So close to attaining the most untellable secrets.
Use these moments wisely…hold them close to you
With the passion and vigour of a youth forgotten;
Be wondrous
As you approach. Grow wise.

I try to talk to you
But you do not listen.
Do you hear it,

A subtle bullet moving softly through your blood?
Do you hear it?
You can only fear it, as you feared life,
As you feared being a mother and a wife,
As you feared being a somebody for anybody else.
Three children,
Eight grand-children; one more to come,
Arriving any day now. And mine
Ezekiel, whom you will never meet;
That opportunity you wasted with your ignorance.
All the generations to come and what will you impart to them?
Knowledge of lunacy,
Knowledge of hysterical alcoholism,
And the faded hopes of small-cell lung cancer.
Faded hopes……? You never had
Hopes. You had gin, a cheating husband,
A misplaced life, and a disappointment
In your children before they were forming
(especially your son, remember
you confessed to attempted abortion
with a bottle of spirit and a boiling bath).
What will you have at the end?
No grand-children of yours will come.
No relative or sibling will grace your presence.
Your daughters will not come
Till the casket be your bed. Your husband will neither
Kiss nor hold nor have the strength to guide you
Through to finality.
But I will be there
Colder than death itself
I will close your eyes
Tenderly, I may kiss your forehead
And I will read to you.

The Dancer

mkl .

Paris, France

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 15

Artist's Description

I never got on with my mother, but nursing her through small-cell lung cancer a few years ago, I wrote this.

Artwork Comments

  • Sally Omar
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