Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

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When the monster grabbed him up, tossed him back
into its mouth, we had been swimming along holding hands
and I didn't let go, flew up dripping and dropped beside him
into the dark and foreign place where there were others
dimly swimming for their lives and there were teeth that grazed
our skins now and then as we lay very still, our hope ballooning,
rising up into the sinuses of the creature intermingled
with our fear so that both rose equally and were, we prayed,
equally compelling, but the truth, we knew, was that the beast
was dumb and barely knew we were there.
Every day
it tested its spikes against our naked fragile bodies,
some days teasing us by tipping forward, almost letting
us roll out into the frothy sea, but most days we lay still,
read medical books, listened to the messages of friends
sending love and encouragement from far away places
where life went on in warm kitchens and the linens
were clean and dry.
Finally, the thing decided not to decide,
let us wash out with the tide. We are swimming again
and the ocean is very blue. But there is a fin moving
beside us on the horizon and though it disappears
from time to time in the bright sun
at dusk it is always there

~ Gail Rudd Entrekin

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