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Zarwell, Natasha RN

doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000363670.32830.b9
Poetry by Cancer Caregivers

It's past midnight,

And my thoughts rest upon you.

The memories are tossing and turning in my mind.

My heart reaches for you in the dark,

And tightly embraces your presence,

The you I knew;

Hoping you won't leave too soon.

You lived the nightmares of diagnosis and relapse years before I met you,

Before I was even a nurse.

Our paths crossed in the evening hours,

Right before you fell asleep.

Reserved as I was, I never pried or shared too much about myself.

But you heard my heart. You understood my gestures.

What you said to me through inexplicable tears that night,

When I was so busy and overwhelmed,

It flabbergasted me.

A final gift to illuminate the coming darkness:

Words to stir hope in my heart like a long-lost dream of heaven resurfacing.

Words that even now swell in a calming crescendo like crickets in the night,

Beckoning me to rest in them so I can endure.

But your earthly absence is a throbbing ache in my heart.

It never goes away.

It is wordless,

And it also connects us over and over again.

So here I am,

Past 2 am,

Drawing the feelings towards me,

Pulling the softened ache over me.

Fighting slumber so I can be with you.

Submissions are welcome from oncologists, oncology nurses, and other cancer caregivers. E-mail only, please, to:, and include your affiliation/title, address, and phone number, along with a photo, if available.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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