Please Remember

 

You’ve come along way baby

Perhaps you’ll go further, maybe

It’s taken us a lifetime to get here

But Please! Listen to me my dear

Don’t forget where you’ve come from

Remember, your darling sweet mum

The advice she always gave you

How she told you what to do

When things go wrong

In your heart there’s still that song

Keep on keeping on

And you’ll never be alone

There is an answer when you pray

The work of emotion

The work of emotion

 

Henrietta stared through the train window,

For the first time, heading toward a new life.

Biopsy results; cervical cancer.

He called,

And it was malignant.

Henrietta didn’t tell anyone,

And no one asked.

Simply went on with her day.

No sense upsetting anyone,

Over something she could deal with herself.

She climbed from the Buick,

Outside Hopkins again.

“Ain’t nothin serious wrong,”

“Doctor’s gonna fix me right up.”

There is an answer for when you pray

For each and everyday. (Senior culler residents)

 

 

–Found poem by Ally Kane, excerpted from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, pp. 26, & 31 and HPU LifeLines Poetry Workshop participants from Senior Culler Center, High Point, NC, March 28, 2014.

Should we fear change? By Maria Trujillo

Saturday afternoon at 5:30,
I dreaded the ringing of my phone,
Instead of forgetting you’d try to remember.
What did I know about the pain in my stomach?
My pain was fear.
On the bed is a young patient.
The same old cancer,
Jumping in playful.
They were one big happy family,
Should we fear change?
Instead of being with him in my helplessness,
We waited with bated breath.
The young doctor says,
I tried and failed.
I couldn’t fail to notice,
He was as guilty as anyone had imagined

A Doctor’s Journey

At six-thirty in the morning

Of July the first

I was swallowed by the House of God

 

I will remember there is an art to medicine

If it is given me

To save a life

It may be within my power

To take a life

This awesome responsibility

Must be faced with great humbleness

And awareness of my own frailty

 

I must not play God

 

I do not treat

Fever chart

Cancerous growth

But

A sick human being

 

You want to see bodies

Go see bodies

I’ve seen enough bodies

Especially bodies of GOMERS

To last me the rest of my life

 

–Jennie Bunce, A Doctor’s Journey, a found poem with excerpts from The House of God by Samuel Shem and The Hippocratic Oath Modern Version

I’ll Remember You

I’ve been thinking:

What do the living do?

So I ask those who are far more experienced than I.

They tell me, Saturday afternoon at 5:30,

The bells begin to ring.

Calling to the people,

To praise the Lord.

Those afternoon bells lift their hearts with joy.

I thought it again, and again later,

What do the living do?

So I asked about friendships.

They calmly explain with wisdom in their voice,

A true friend’s trust is long lasting like God’s eternal love.

A friend is always there when push comes to shove.

Their voices forever sketched in ink,

This is the everyday we spoke of.

But more importantly,

I’ll remember you.

–Found poem by Marco Reyes, excerpted from What the Living Do, by Marie How, and HPU LifeLines Poetry Workshop participants from Pennybyrn at Maryfield, High Point, NC, February 12, 2014 and February 26, 2014.