Tuesday, March 8, 2016

[poetry] Hail Mary, Full of Grace

"Don't change for no one, do you understand me? You are the only person on the team I trusted, and I knew when you said something would be done, I had faith it would be done. Don't let them change you." 
- Patient's parting words of wisdom.

You are not your

You are a woman:
Strong. Courageous. Determined.
Your beautiful womanhood comes from within,
but not from your cervix
    which steals your identity.     

It radiates from:
the Mother Mary amulet
with love you adorned
on the side of the hospital bed
to which you turn
when your pain is unbearable.
    And from your words
    said between your searing outcries:
    Your dignity makes me
    bow my head in humility
    as you apologize for the odor
    from your gas.

You are not your

You say you lost your beauty
and the bags and tubes make you feel
like an alien.

All that flows from you:
    Urine from your kidney tubes,
    Feces from the failed poop bag,
    The gas occasionally released, 
        even the blood pouring from your vagina,
        a reminder of that demonic thief,
Is beautiful:
Because it is you.

You are not your

In fact, they…they are the ugly ones -
for they pray not for your comfort
but for a date of discharge.

Forgive them for seeing only
your past dance with the needle
and denying a dying woman relief:
    Please know that I tried
    and only viewed you with grace
    as you once saw yourself-
        because, through our morning pleasantries,
        I could see you so clearly:
        How radiant you are.

You are not your

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