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‘In Memoriam”

Johnson, Marta Stern RN, OCN

doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000370087.03316.ff
MARTA STERN JOHNSON, RN, OCN, works at Austin Cancer Centers in Texas

MARTA STERN JOHNSON, RN, OCN, works at Austin Cancer Centers in Texas

I'd spoken to you only that morning in October

Far away/wayward daughter to fading mother

Love and guilt coursing through my veins in equal parts

How can I have strayed

A thousand miles and twenty years away

Now that your mind has atrophied

Time twisting in sweet disordered spirals

You still remember my voice

I drive my car through a balmy October day

Loving you, sadness shadowing me

When I am suddenly distracted by fluttering clouds

A migration of monarch butterflies

Dancing lazily through the air en route to Mexico

Masses of orange and black

As disordered and fanciful as your mind

They will only come to rest when then they settle

On the bark of oyamel trees

I know that half of the butterflies will die

Before their springtime return to Canada

You too will be gone before the spring

Your dancing swirling mind will come to rest

With the monarchs left behind

You will remain there

In the warm air and bright colors

And send your love in fluttering clouds

That will transcend my shadowing sadness

Will I remember your voice

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

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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