Poetic Interlude

March 30, 2009 erinmcgrathwo

Food for thought. I love this poem. I loved it before the chemo, and now it means something else to me. That’s what I love about poetry, it does not have to change, but as you do, it grows with you- stretches to the corners of your mind and places that before, were just out of reach.

“Cell” from Margaret Atwood’s morning in the burned house


Now look objectively. You have to

admit the cancer cell is beautiful.

If it were a flower, you’d say, How pretty,

with its mauve centre and pink petals

or if the cover for a pulpy thirties

sci-fi magazine, How striking;

as an alien, a success,

all purple eye and jelly tentacles

and spines, or are they gills,

creeping around on granular Martian

dirt red as the inside of the body,

while its tender walls

expand and burst, its spores

scatter elsewhere, take root, like money,

drifting like a fiction or

miasma in and out of people’s

brains, digging themselves

industriously in.  The lab technician

says, It has forgotten

how to die. But why remember? All it wants is more

amnesia. More life, and more abundantly. To take

more. To eat more. To replicate itself. To keep on

doing those things forever. Such desires

are not unknown. Look in the mirror.

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One Comment Add your own

  • 1. Danielle  |  March 30, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I enjoyed this poem.


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