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We Are These Blue Hills

by Derek Richards

we share
without consequence
earth stained
quilt and questions
you will
be leaving soon
scatter my ashes
these blue hills
my arms
are just not
strong enough
to hold you here
doctors know
the cold facts
unaware of this breeze
the clouds we
memorize and whisper
they speak
of death
in measure of time
we feel
damned by our faith
helpless beneath the sun
we also fear
our slumping shoulders
and the haze
of echo
feeding within our eyes
we're scheduled
for another appointment
noon tomorrow
we will stink of wine
sex and miracles
doctors and nurses
will read your chart
flex their jaws
deep thoughts wrinkled
no explanation
the cancer's gone
we will smirk
and thank our angels
we share
a laughter
lazy and without conditions
curious as to how
this precise
could possibly end
on sterile sheets
your drinking straw
between my fingers
the desperation
of feeding tubes
if you should forget
these blue hills

This poem was originally published in Cantaraville "Eleven."

After performing music and poetry around the Boston area for the past twenty years, Derek Richards recently began submitting his work. So far his work has appeared in more than forty publications. To date, however, no publishing has left him more grateful than this one. At an early age, he watched his grandmother suffer through cancer for three agonizing years before finally claiming her at just 63 years old. He hopes this poem serves as a prayer for every person going through treatment and for those who have survived treatment.