Today I tried to combine the NaPoWriMo.net prompt to write a poem in which something big and something small come together, with the Poetic Asides prompt calling for a “Battle __________ ” poem. Took a conversation with my Dad as inspiration, and used the writing to help tame my own burgeoning worry.
Battle the Weather
Morning phone call.
You start with the temperature,
-5 still, but better than yesterday. Supposed to
be in the pluses again by the weekend.
This damn province.
Then you give me the real headline,
preface of Don’t worry, but…
It could be nothing. Seeing the doctor tomorrow.
Probably lots of tests. We’ll know when we know.
I parrot it back, you don’t worry either.
Child counseling parent, or maybe
both of us
just saying what’s said. Rote words.
But I know
how even a small worries
bloat so big
fueled by the constant hot puff of
Mine’s already growing. I feel it,
hollow balloon in the chest, rising.
Little brain ember, taking hold,
starting a fire that will keep me burning
all night long, working to throw
drops of reason
on a fear inferno.
But hope builds too, or can.
In quiet places. The same spot
softened each day with silence.
Faith flourished, not with expected words
like Don’t worry, but with something true
Remember six years ago, Dad,
leaving the hospital? December.
-31 with the wind chill.
You told me the sky
looked too blue to be that cold.
Damn this province! If the cancer didn’t kill me
this weather surely will.
But I saw you take a breath, deep,
zing of cold filling your lungs.
You shut your eyes and smiled.