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POETRY BY CANCER CAREGIVERS

There was a Time Once

Faulkner, Alan

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doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000295297.05266.27
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Alan Faulkner is a Board-Certified Chaplain, working for Medical Oncology Associates of Augusta in Georgia. Twice a year the practice has a memorial service, part of which includes short readings about grief and hope, and this poem is one of those readings.

There was a time once, I think there was.

Anyway, if there wasn't, there should have been.

It was a time when children were released to the outdoors in reckless abandon;

Running through neighborhoods, Running through fields, Running through woods.

Not under the watchful eye of cautious parents, but under the spell of a free and playful spirit.

There was a time once. I think there was.

It was a time when children swam naked in black water creeks, swinging from a long rope that would catapult them high above the dark creek water.

Letting go with one giant splash, their innocent naked bodies were swallowed up by the cool water that transformed small faces into giant grins.

There was a time once; I think there was.

Anyway, if there wasn't, there should have been.

It was a time when children watched tadpoles wax frogs, cocoons recast into beautiful butterflies.

There was a time when little people played hide and seek late into the long summer nights, hiding throughout the neighborhood, chest swelling—not out of fear—but out of excitement and the possibility of being found.

A time when little Radio Flyers were filled with clanging glass bottles, pulled down the street by short, chubby arms and wide eyes of anticipation.

There was a time once. I think there was.

High pitched voices calling out, “Mother may I?”, red — rover, red — rover!”

Small dirty hands drawing circles in the sand and the circle surrounded by bags of yellow cat - eyes, green cat - eyes and boulders.

Early, quiet summer evenings disturbed by the sound of a ringing bell evincing the whereabouts of dream sickles, hunkies, fudge sickles and orange push-ups.

There was a time once.

I think there was.

I hope there was.

I hope there will be again.

Don't you?

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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