Chemotherapy Poem by Jette Blackstone


Rating: 5.0

They insert 365 days into her petite post-it frame
until she is no more than a silhouetted statue
baking in light, dropping samples
like an evangelical shopper at a big box store.

Arms out, she squints at the boiling beacon
and creates a shadow that reveals the underbelly
of 217 possibilities, while 148 scatter.
Onlookers wonder and fear lurks in her weakening façade.

She looks like the lady from France, torch in hand
except she's just an ordinary yet universal, lady from the street.
Math is her favorite. She sees beauty at 27,
and she hopes she won't die yet.

The space between 1 and 3 brings hope, yet she's alone.
Weeks just demarcate spaces between treatments.
The further she walks, the more freakish she becomes.
She rests a pillow on her street, drops remaining days in beats.
As she glances up at the sun, she sees the IV pole

in a number 9…or is it a 6?
Only a devil would say she holds all 3.
She…they…we…will understand…
The numbers, the probabilities, the years
are all just numbered teeth
wafting through the wind chewing time.

Friday, October 13, 2017
Topic(s) of this poem: cancer,death,life
Patti Masterman 11 September 2018

I like how the verbs sortie and regroup and carry the day away. Your poems deserve 2nd and 3rd and 4th readings. You are a poet for the ages Jette. Glad I came here tonight and found your treasures.

0 0 Reply
Patti Masterman 07 December 2017

What an amazement. Your words so full images and feeling and candor. True poetry here.

0 0 Reply
Jette Blackstone 11 December 2017

Thanks so much Patti. I really appreciate you taking the time to read. I love your poems.

0 0
Lyn Paul 30 October 2017

A very interesting poem on an illness that affects so many. The research and how far it has come is amazing and will only get better.

0 0 Reply
Jette Blackstone 30 October 2017

Yes. I look forward to a time where more targeted therapies replace chemo. Thanks for reading my poem Lyn.

0 0
Glen Kappy 18 October 2017

jette, now i know you've been writing for a while. and even though the experience described here is unfamiliar to me, the good phrases/images signal they are not from a novice. either you're skilled from practice, or you have genius in this poetry writing craft, or a bit of both? her petite post-it frame underbelly of 217 possibilities The numbers, the probabilities, the years are all just numbered teeth wafting through the wind chewing time. good stuff! glen

0 0 Reply
Jette Blackstone 18 October 2017

Thank you Glen. I would like to say I have both skill as well as a gift for writing. I love writing and I also love reading inspiring words. This poem was actually inspired by a photograph (which I cannot display here due to copyright...ekphrasis) , but I intentionally wrote the poem to stand alone. Thanks again and take care.

0 0
Denis Mair 14 October 2017

Wow, that is a wonderful portrait of a mind at work, coping with a loss of acuity. This mind has a habit of examining numbers and other mental objects, to see what traction they have on the real world. It knows which objects afford leverage toward illuminating views. It never stops weaving its fabric of sense, but this has been thrown off-kilter, so it stumbles and sees itself ticking off instants of time.// The poet Ed Dorn wrote a wonderful journal about his chemotherapy. He was given taxol, which is refined from evergreen trees: in a disoriented moment he saw himself as a giant pine cone.

0 0 Reply
Error Success