Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Seize the Day

//sieze the day

“Seize the Day”

At first I wept
endlessly, tears leaked,
ran down my cheeks.
I pulled the blankets over me
in bed, curled fetally,
and felt the feeling I’d now and
then had as a child, of being sick
enough to stay in bed,
miss school.
I got used
to feeling sick
and now I hardly notice.

Only my family knew
for the first year.
My husband, a good man, says,
“It’s a privilege,
a pleasure, to take care of you,”
and my kids don’t complain
‘though they’re amazed at how
hard it is for me
to do some things.
So am I.

When I told one friend
my secret
she stopped calling for gossipy chats,
no longer asked me to partner her at bridge.
I was now officially depressing,
a fellow-exile from her company told me,
though both of us were newly diagnosed
and far from dead, and half the people
we know visit the doctor far more frequently
than either one of us.

Good-egg friends are still friends.
Others query lugubriously, "How ARE you?”
their faces a tragic mask.
I know they mean well, but
I hate a fuss.
I feel like shaking them, saying,
“I’m still me,
and roses nod in my garden,
and my husband loves me still,
and I just read a good book,
and we’re having apricots
from the tree for dinner,
and the kids are doing well.”
(Knock Wood).

Some women at parties
chat with my spouse in an understanding way,
asking “How is she?” with a
serious mien. Perhaps
they have nothing else to say.

I wish they’d ask me.
I’d change the subject immediately.

Yesterday, a man about 30 on a freeway crashed
and was killed
where I, and dozens,
had driven ten minutes before.
As far as I know, we’re all still here.
Except that poor kid.

“Seize the day,” is what I say.

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