There are times when new growth is a bad thing.
When that dark shadow creeps into your life,
touching healthy cells with its withering
hand, defying the surgeon’s careful knife

as it gains momentum and saps your strength,
the possibility of loss is real;
You start measuring time in smaller lengths,
and hope that at the end, you can still feel

good enough to laugh, and somehow cheat death,
sense the hair growing back under your wig
and feel warm sun on your radiated bones.

Then you use all your courage to draw breath,
thinking, “Those other things I thought so big,
how very small they all seem to have grown.”

07 MAR 2003

for Verian Thomas

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