World Cancer Day

Midnight Cancer
is a bottomless pit
where voices echo
around and around
endlessly
repeating the same
prayer:
oh
God…

Sooner or later, midnight
cancer changes to
morning
cancer,
brighter,
more hopeful.
Somewhere in the sun
rises warm and round.
Birds are singing.

After a while,
morning cancer melts
into afternoon cancer
where it hides among chores:
cut the grass
clean the downspouts
drain the noodles.

Later, the house falls silent
and even the dog is asleep.
There might or might not be rain.
Without a sound
you are falling,
arms wide and circling.
It’s midnight
You have cancer.

~Mary Braddish O’Connor from her collection “Say Yes Quickly.”

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