Oncology Times:
doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000290864.92639.5c

    “Poetry is the spontaneous outpouring of powerful feelings…emotions recollected in tranquility.”


    The world of poetry often serves as a means of expression and source of comfort for those who care for cancer patients. In this periodic column, we are pleased to present poems written by oncologists, oncology nurses, oncology pharmacists, and other cancer caregivers. We welcome submissions—Please e-mail them to OT@LWW.com

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    Figure. No caption a...
    Figure. No caption a...

    When I die

    wait for a windy day

    and carry my ashes

    to a rocky point

    that juts into the sea.

    Scatter those ashes slowly to mix

    with the air, water, and earth,

    to become one

    with the fishes,

    the shore birds and sand fleas,

    and the yellow flowers

    that cover the meadow

    every spring.

    Years from now

    listen for my voice

    in birdsong,

    look for my face

    among the leaves of the oak,

    and know

    that I move

    in the depths of the ocean.

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    Well Worn

    Most of my things

    do not acquire a patina

    even though I like

    faded jeans,

    well worn leather,

    and the muted green

    of weathered copper.

    Maybe I wash my hands

    too often

    and touch the world around me

    too little.

    I remember outgrowing

    a cowboy outfit as a child.

    It was as clean as new

    when we gave it away.

    Time is making me

    less afraid

    of scars and stains,

    more appreciative

    of the hard and soft

    people and things

    around me,

    more willing

    to risk everything

    to be well worn

    and pleasantly used

    before I outgrow this life.

    © 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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