Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Dueling Poetry with my Dad

From his hospital bed shortly after receiving a dire diagnosis, my dad wrote a poem that he emailed to my mom early one morning He often used humor to brighten a dark moment, and this poem was a poignant quip from him. I had arrived in Lawrence the day before, and I quickly typed a response poem that I sent him before posting it to Facebook. Our morning of dueling poetry provided a sweet way to express ourselves in this fearful time. Following are his poem and my response, which I've edited to keep the tense accurate now that he has passed. 

Tumor Rumor, by Jerome   

There's a rumor I've a tumor
But you know that's not quite true.
Though one would be enough for me
I have been given two!
One that blocks my food and drink
From getting to my belly
Another one that hangs around 
My kidneys- kind of scary!

So, be gone you scary masses!
I'd miss you, not a bit!.
Perhaps a radiation blast 
will soon make light of it!

We cling to hope that skillful hands
Will guide lifesaving rays
And add each day some joy and love
To these remaining days!

Response from a Daughter

The humor sense that drove my dad
could steer a daughter mad, 
if not for honesty that shone
between the written lines.

His sense of wit showed to a T
his personality.
Gentle, kind, a wit macabre,
he quipped to say, please pray.

My father, who art in heaven, 
holy you are to me. 
Your wise regard for wit and word,
those teachings I have heard.

Your poetries, your histories,
your yard, with all its trees,
are planted well, with solid roots.
I cannot wear your boots.

But all the goodness you have shined,
is part of me and mine.
And though you had to leave this plane,
The smiles you brought remain.

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