Arsenic Lobster poetry journal
Issue Twenty-five
Spring 2011
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To the Cancer My Mother Does Not Have
Karrie Waarala

You have been a bitter void these past few weeks,
the gap left by a rotted tooth that I have tried
not to probe with my insufficient tongue.

You have been the unwanted eavesdropper,
hovering on the rim of every conversation, waiting
to collect our attention on your grim sentences.

You have been anxious pacing in waiting rooms,
holding patterns, calendar squares penciled tentative,
the fermata in her boisterous music, ellipses.

Today the news of your nonexistence rushed relief
through crackling cell phones, was a welcome mirror
to the dizzying call seven years back announcing the arrival

of your sibling. Iíve written plenty to that one. Forgive me
for taking fierce pleasure in knowing this is your only poem,
for howling with delight to hear that you were stillborn.

About Karrie Waarala

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