Your legacy must be both love and fear.
I know that when you died, you feared for me.
The family curse you carried in your breast
Was not a gift you wanted to pass on.
But fear of it, just like my love for you,
Must linger in my heart, unwelcome guest!
And as I weep for your too early death,
I also can hear rumblings of my own.
Ah, Mother! We are linked like paper dolls,
A line of little cutouts in a row.
I see my clearest memories in my mirror
And feel your anguish bloom beneath my breast.
For this, my love for you is more, not less.
In our misfortune there’s a common grace:
For me, in that you must have grieved my burden;
For you, in that you must have mine foreseen.
The Cancer That Killed You Was Part of You Gone Quite Insane
The cancer that killed you was part of you gone quite insane:
The good run amok; death from life bursting awry,
Like a poor paranoid on a bell tower sniping away,
Killing the order that gives all the colony life.
Nature, of course, has madness built into its music,
Disturbing its peace with the agony all artists crave.
Perhaps that’s what killed you: the one-in-so-many malfunctions
That chaos requires to shatter the oneness of light.
But chaos is aided in our time by greed in abundance:
Greed like a cancer destroying our colony Earth;
Greed that we eat, drink, and breathe, in our dreams, in our language;
Greed in the nuclei of our dwindling faiths.
What killed you, my loved one, is blended in recycled plastic
Spewing its toxins in micrograms into the sky.
Your life was a goat on the altar of modern convenience,
Bearing the sins of us all towards that merciless god.
We live in a world whose rulers are partners with death;
For whom cancer must be a number that balances out.
You were just perhaps the unlucky percent to be traded
For progress towards some CEO’s end-of-year bottom line.
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