To my Father, N.J.K.
He heard the buzzing of the bumblebee,
too close for comfort, and he brushed away
the thought of what its circling might decree.
Remembering when he was fancy-free,
when days were rich like goblets of claret,
that time arrests him now. Could I foresee
that cancer would invade my father, be
companion, enemy, move in to stay?
How is it he became a nominee
for radiation, chemotherapy?
The hopeless questions loom and lurch, they weigh
a thousand pounds without apology.
The buzzing zeroes in, a certainty
that life plans he had made have gone astray.
The warden locked his cell, threw down the key.
When will the strange stage IV malignancy
depart? What is the price that he must pay?
O, by the way, do these genes live in me?