Sunday, July 10, 2011

Silent Dialogue
Stacey Joy

In the beginning,
Almost anything can happen.
This is when you first hear the news
When light becomes dark
Days blend into nights
And whispers are noisy
Like everyone knows the secret
Except you
You have the “C” word
The word that’s harder to say when it’s personal
You have cancer
This is the very beginning.
The doctor is not yet someone you admire or trust
more the bearer of news you’d rather never hear
White and powder blue lab coats don’t know your name
Your face is not yet recognizable

This is the opening scene, Act 1
Cancer creeps on stage
Cloaked in mystery
Your solo is now a duet.

Act 2, the middle
Everything normal fades
Medications and doctor’s appointments
Scans, needles, questions
Probing and searching
The second scene, Act 2, takes place in the sky
The first-time skydiver’s descent
Praying through the fall
Not to hit the bottom
Before deploying the automatic activation device
Backsliding through MRI’s, PET Scans, and ultrasounds,
Crabbing from hospital to home
The parachute opens
as your duet falls freely to the ground
Only to realize you will jump
Many more times through Acts 2 and 3
But you always rise again in Act 2
Until the duet
Becomes more complicated
Cancer’s silent dialogue
Competes with your spoken monologue
The fall begins to feel more like the end

Intermission awaiting remission
But Act 3 opens
You and cancer take center stage
                Who has more lines
                Who has more pain
                Who has more strength
                Who has more life to live
                Who can change the blocking for this scene
You need a wardrobe change
Gowns grace everyday fashions
Hair and Make-up artists can’t fix
Broken skin
skin with remnants of vitality
Water, cancer water, fills you
Cotton pricks your skin
that burns fragile, transparent, bruised

Act 3, The Grand Finale
This is the last straw
The last row
The last one chosen
But this time you didn’t want the part
The lab coats, needles, and scans
The last round of chemo
The last chance for poison to protect
The last prayer to SAVE a solo
The last stench of the putrid bile
The last “morphinic” stare
The last cry
The last blink
The last kiss
The last hug
The last breath.
No Curtain Call
Everyone leaves
Cancer now a solo act 
Without an audience.

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