Haven’t written…

Haven’t blogged for awhile
and may not blog again.
Entering a new adventure and challenge called pancreatic cancer. All words pale in the mystery of it that sends me deeper into the Mystery of God. Blessings to all. You may yet see my words here again. Peace.

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The word flits past the surgeon’s lips,
riding an ordinary exhalation of breath.
And, as with the displacement of air
stirred by the flutter of a butterfly’s wings,
what is set in motion may change a world forever.
Yet, my emotions sputter to engage and my mind toggles
between odds of survival and the fact that this doctor,
whom I never met, is older and less comely
than I imagined her to be. Perhaps I’m not good
at this sort of thing; perhaps I’ve gone numb,
force-marched through the medical maze; or
perhaps I’m just soul-withering tired.

I fidget through her post-op slumber,
eyes darting like humming birds
from clock to TV to door to clock.
And when, at last, she is given back to me,
I anchor at her bedside where I will ride
the ebbings and flowings of the afternoon,
feigning a velvet calm; seeding the air
with positives; and tracing slowly, again
and again, the contours of the face
that first entranced me like the North Star
some forty-odd years ago.

Later that evening, driving home alone,
only the rhythms of a rutted road
securing me to my task, I survey with
gnawing disbelief the chronology
of the last few months and am left
with nothing but a sigh to cushion
the rugged ride ahead.

© 2009 Dennis Ference

First appeared in Ars Medica.

The Diagnosis

The pegs were discharged,
one peg to each, and mine,
this time, was decidedly square.
Now, I firmly believed that
only round pegs could
fill those round holes
obstructing the path
that snaked to the goal.

Still, I worked that square
with hopeful resolve,
twisting and pounding
till the truth seemed clear:
Surely, this square peg
was meant for another,
some square-peg-player
in some square-hole-game.

With compassion and grace,
I summoned the wind
to deliver the peg
to whomever it belonged.
But the wind only laughed
its raspy old laugh, and
for the moment, at least,
the peg remained mine.
And the rules I had learned…
they no longer applied.

Such was my grief and musing
after the “diagnosis”
broke down my door.

© 2004 Dennis Ference
(First published in Journey to Glory)