Pariah

| by Rhonda D. Clower |

Cancer…
the word dropped
like a dirty word

in a quiet small town Church on a Sunday
and like a dirty word in church

horror and fear
appeared in the faces
of loved ones

One little word had the same
room-clearing effect
as the foulest
of language

but you stayed
but you stayed

Judgements

Advice

Pulling Away

Fear

friends dropped like flies
everyone knowing best
what I should do

and you believed in me
and you believed in me

Exhausted from my dance
of healing
needing support
comfort and refuge
So many afraid to reach out

“Is it contagious?”
“Will she break down and cry?”
“Will I get closer to her only to have her die?”

and you held my head in your lap
and you held my head in your lap

The tumor grew larger.
Sign of my weakness?
Punishment from
God?
…large and ugly on my face

I hid it behind my hair
afraid to be seen
afraid to offend

You smiled and traced the outline
smiled and brushed my hair away

You called me beautiful
you called me beautiful

You loved me through it
when I thought I would give up
you loved me through it

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