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Poetry Break: Diagnosis

The following verses were written following my mother's death one year ago. She passed on the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, who was a very dear personage to her.


Six months at the outside, we were told.

The scan on his screen blossomed tumors like newly discovered constellations; still the fear was not real, only the fear of pain. We promised to do our best, and so we did.

Our best was not so good at times, but we did it, staggering with exhaustion.

In the last days, she left us far behind as she walked the paths of her childhood: parents came and went, arguments and discussions re-lived.

A red wagon was again pulled uphill.

She saw her sister in me, her daughter, and so from behind her sister's face I gave the

medicines, soothed her brow, held her hand.

Afterwards, we sat overwhelmed by books, by notes, the forgotten memories shoved in

boxes at the back of closets or buried in trunks.

Unknown photos came to light: a little girl with red hair, playing on a lush green hillside.

Beyond fear

Beyond pain.

At peace.

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