by Thomas Davis
The doctor, looking down at him, her voice
as soft as early springtime rains: “I hate
how cancer takes a person, steals their choice,
and makes inevitable their certain fate.”
She paused, a stranger. Then she shook her head.
“He was extraordinary. You can tell.”
She gently touched his clutched-tight hand, the bed…
“He asks the nurses how they are. The hell
he’s going through, he wants to know if they’re okay.”
She sighs and looks at Ethel, then at me.
“This ward is tough. Old cancer never plays,
but does his business, never lets us plea
for mercy.” Silence. “Fighting him is hard.
He leaves us memories, our lives in shards.”