The Robber with the Biggest Guns
He never announced his real name,
Grim Reaper of the innocent,
until he raided liver cells, your lymph nodes,
and your fragile ribs, then stole your treasured sanity.
Cancer is taking a gun to your head,
cracking bats on window panes,
shattering the firmest glass
in every room of every home
where people adore the shape of your soul.
Remember when we thought a simple thundershower
could wreck our hair, soak our freshly ironed shirts─
now it seems petty as a broken nail
and I'm ashamed I ever saw the world like that─
with dirty glasses on my face.
Now I know that blossoms of a daffodil
last less than two short weeks at most.
Won't you take my coffee mug,
pour in tears you're holding back.
You tell me we can "beat this thing,"
but doctors' children learn too much,
so doubt and fear crawl up the stairs
I'm falling down.
You are standing tall and straight,
when I am leaning awkwardly,
arms upon a countertop,
afraid my elbow knots will slip,
and I'll be landing on the floor.
I guess it doesn't matter where you pray,
on kitchen tile or carpets scraping at bare knees─
or beg a distant deity to fix a theme you cannot change
from plays like this we never wanted tickets to.
- Janet I. Buck 2015
Janet Buck is a seven-time Pushcart Nominee. Her work has appeared in hundreds of journals worldwide. Janet's second print collection of poetry, Tickets to a Closing Play, was the winner of the 2002 Gival Press Poetry Award and her third collection, Beckoned By The Reckoning, was released by PoetWorks Press in the spring of 2004. Her most recent work has appeared in The Pedestal Magazine and Offcourse. In 2011, Buck was honored as a Featured Poet of the Editor's Circle in PoetryMagazine.com. In the spring of 2015, Janet was "Poet of the Week" for PoetrySuperHighway.com. More of her work is scheduled for publication in various journals this coming summer.