Julie Ann in the Bone Marrow Unit, Zion, Illinois
by John Rybicki
Ah Dame, I don’t know how else
to love you
so I just start juggling. I’m on the street
three floors below your hospital
lofting fish or birds that graze against my hands
and fly off, juggling cancer cells
slipping in the bowling pin
we snuck out of that alley in Maine.
Then I’m juggling
freight trains, and angels, and elephants,
dropping them all. I don’t care.
So long as you
can stand near your high window and laugh,
so long as you stand near your
clapping your hands.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
John Rybicki was caregiver to his wife during her fight with cancer. His latest book of poems, We Bed Down Into Water, is now available from Northwestern University Press.
This article was originally published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, September/October 2008.