poet Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser

At the Cancer Clinic

She is being helped toward the open door
that leads to the examining rooms
by two young women I take to be her sisters.
Each bends to the weight of an arm
and steps with the straight, tough bearing
of courage. At what must seem to be
a great distance, a nurse holds the door,
smiling and calling encouragement.
How patient she is in the crisp white sails
of her clothes. The sick woman
peers from under her funny knit cap
to watch each foot swing scuffing forward
and take its turn under her weight.
There is no restlessness or impatience
or anger anywhere in sight. Grace
fills the clean mold of this moment
and all the shuffling magazines grow still.

Poem Submitted: Friday, October 16, 2015

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Comments about At the Cancer Clinic by Ted Kooser

  • Stephen Loomes (6/30/2018 2:33:00 AM)

    If you take them to be her sisters, and they are young, then she too, must be young and very ill with funny knit cap, a signal of chemotherapy in contrast to the crisp white sails of the nurses clothes. Abject misery measured against sororial love, patience from the sterility of health and clean white sails, and of course the waiting maw of the examination room; stark but good.

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    susan thorkildsen(10/3/2018 4:32:00 PM)

    So is your review! !

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