Soft, sobbing sounds

Bounced through white hospital halls.

She stood there and said,

“It’s going to be okay.”

I didn’t understand.


I didn’t understand

When they shaved and opened your skull,

They sliced and sawed away,

And plucked out poisonous parts.

You slept and I sighed with relief.


I didn’t understand

When they strapped you down

And stunned you with hazardous waves,

While I sat, assembling a puzzle.


I didn’t understand

When they stuck you

And stuffed you with toxins.

Or the hair loss that followed.


But I started to understand

When strong arms withered and weakened,

When your face turned to shadows,

When long legs became useless.


I started to understand,

When, slowly slipping, your mind lost

Words, as simple as “yes” and “no.”

Actions, such as signing your own name,

And memories.

No longer able to reminisce of the times past.


I finally understood

When I spent my sweet sixteen by your bedside,

Sending silent prayers to those I started questioned.

I sat and saved details, memorized for after.

Because I understood: It was not going to be okay.