when joy, was a dead bird within my chest.

i woke up

this morning

with joy, a

dead

bird

within my chest.

she just lay there.

curled up,

a weight of

dead

feathers;

throat silent.

and i wanted to

mourn her,

rail angrily against the

poisonous

seeds

that had stolen her.

cancer.

depression.

death.

fear.

anger.

loneliness.

foreignness.

distance.

and all the

dark things

that go

bump

in the night.

but my words

were

gone.

stolen.

so i sat with her,

cradled

within my hands

gently whispering

all that i had left,

i am sorry.

i am sorry.

and slowly,

the liquid morning

light

fell

just so

onto her face,

and elgar’s

enigma

covered her body

with a gentle

blanket of cello,

and the

cool

autumn breeze

from the open window

ruffled

the fine down

on her breast,

and she remembered.

all the good things,

all the beautiful things,

all the hopeful things,

as the warm tea from

faraway places

warmed her throat

until

her voice

returned.

and she shook

her feathers

and inclined

her head

as she ate

hope

amongst the thorns.

—when joy, was a dead bird within my chest.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Conversations with my brother (On the eve of chemotherapy).

And so the

time

has

come.

Tomorrow we

straighten

our

spines

and

cast our eyes

up

because

we know

from where

our help

comes.

And

when

the first

fiery

drops

slip into your vein,

silent

and

ruthless,

we speak

life

over every part

of

you

and

death

to that

which

came

in the night

to

steal

and

destroy.

And

I may be

far,

but I will be

near.

And

know this

you are

not alone.

You are

loved.

You are

carried.

And

tomorrow

we stand

and

we fight.

—Conversations with my brother. (On the eve of chemotherapy.)

©Liezel Graham. 2018.

{Tomorrow, my younger brother starts an intense chemotherapy regime for pancreatic cancer. I have written two other posts called ‘Conversations with my brother’ and should you wish to read the others, just search for ‘Conversations with my brother’ and they will come up.}