I wrote this poem about seven years ago when her daughter had cancer. I knew there was something between them then, but they didn’t cross the line until February of this year. I showed it to him in confidence and he turned right around and showed it to her. She has been his priority in my mind ever since.
Pray for Life
Those budding association skills snap
“Captain Nemo” onto “chemotherapy,”
making it “Nemo-therapy,” stopping every
heart but yours.
Where does a 36-month-old body, good at
growing Goldilocks hair, pick up a
brain tumor? They say it hitched a ride to
life with you.
You call to my Lexie from the swings. It arcs down
“Yexi,” choking me with relief — the threeness of it.
When you get too queasy to play, I catch up
with you on your mom’s blog.
The fall siphons life from summer. It makes me
itch. I rub lotion under my Team Emma
bracelet, never shedding it. I have sworn an
oath with our binding talisman.
You, little miss, must squeeze your eyes tight and
pray for life — for your mom and dad, for Lexie and
me, and for Lexie’s dad, whose love for
your mom, he’s deferred to avow.