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spare change

Baeyens, Virginia RN

doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000319631.28682.b2
Departments: Poetry By Cancer Caregivers

Virginia Baeyens, RN, an oncology nurse and cancer caregiver, is a Home Health Nurse with Nursing Solutions in Phoenix. She writes that she wrote this poem to honor her brother, Douglas Allen Latham, who died from T-cell lymphoma after a valiant battle.

The world of poetry is a means of expression and source of comfort for many who care for cancer patients. We welcome submissions from oncologists, oncology nurses, oncology pharmacists, and other cancer caregivers. E-mail only, please, to:, and include your affiliation/title, address, and phone number, along with a photo, if available.

this space is just rented

my time has just sprinted

past - pockets all jingling with change

this sin i've repented

i fear i'm demented

my wishes i wish to arrange

my steam's being vented

and now the air's scented

with flavors that make me feel strange

it's like i've been tinted

and stamped—newly minted—

but don't know the rate of exchange

pray the landlord's relented—

and no ticket printed—

sparing room so i can rearrange

these cans—they're all dented—

my toes are now splinted

in hope of some future free range

with paper wings tented

my chart clucked “presented

with fluid components deranged”

then further lamented

my future—fragmented—

my hope's within a syringe

my fiery blade glinted

in battle—prevented

the win—no defeat to avenge

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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