Learning a New Language

Cancer Poems

Each of us is unique, you know.
We live our lives, let them flow,
As though there is no tomorrow, and
Then our cancer tells us that isn’t so.

One thing you learn right away.
A new language is required to keep death at bay,
Which includes technical terms, Latin words and abbreviations.
Things you never imagine anyone would say.

Our doctors, nurses, and other caregivers
Never know exactly what cancer delivers,
And because their cancer language still doesn’t know
Life’s twisting, turning, overflowing rivers.

Berlitz can’t teach us to speak this tongue.
Requires a doctor, nurse, someone from a technical rung.
We cringe to words like malignant, spread and metastasis,
And words like benign and clear, Heaven’s praises sung.

For fear the language of cancer they may abuse,
Cure and healing, rare words that oncologists use.
Instead they dance, tiny delicate ballet steps.
Bolder terms about prognosis they refuse.

But late at night when I talk to God,
I spare no words in asking to be healed.
Anything else just a façade.
Bolder words I use as along the healing path I trod.

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