A Light

My favorite chair
became a receptacle
of me,

which became
a receptacle
of light,

reaching your eyes.

Staring out my bedroom window
just a few days after chemo,
little did I know it would be my last,
that my run through pain was about to pass.

A wedge of dusty light pinned my head back
against the back of my chair from ‘Bob’s’,
like an ax-wedge of grace
it pierced the top of my head.

I couldn’t move.

My eyes hovered like orbs in the flickering light.

“remember what I told you,” said something
that I like to say was “feeling with language.”

Yes, I’ve heard it before- once.

The day I was diagnosed. It said: “Spend as much time as you possible can with other people.” It worked; my solution to the awful pain was simple but genuine contact with others.

And here was the voice again, this time, it brought a friend: A certain dusty light filling my body with light.
The light, as it washed down my arms and torso, froze me. I began to think and feel nothing.

I began to flicker like the light itself. And then I melted into a seeping bag of tears on the floor, on my knees, begging for something, reaching out for a courage I didn’t have, for the courage to stop treatment, to stop the madness.

Many nights crammed themselves into a few hours.

As dawn found me on the floor, the other light had gone. My body was on fire and I found my mother in the living room knitting on the couch.

She barely had time to look up at me before it rushed out of me like a river, a river on fire.

“I can’t do this anymore!! I can’t do treatment!” I fell to her lap and dissolved like a single raindrop over a fire.

She prayed with me and all I felt was sorrow mixed with a kind of confused freedom.

It was the first day of my life.SavedPicture-2013619212421.jpg

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About Ben Dooling

I began this blog shortly after being diagnosed with terminal rectal cancer. It has since begotten a short book of poems, most of the poems came from here. Cancer has taught me more than it has taken. It has shown me my gifts, and what an examined life is.

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