In Memorium: For David Duncan

This year started with mescal and worm-salt. It started with poetry and song. I recovered my singing voice in a warm, welcoming group. My first friend was Molly, an petite alto with a great smile and deep faith. She shared her husband’s recent cancer diagnosis and I told her my story because being a care-giver is harder than having the disease for I’ve walked both sides of the cancer treatment street.

I love Molly. I love her David. And for the past few weeks, I’ve been saying this poem in my mind because there is nothing can do. There is a helplessness we all feel in the presence of horrible disease, the times I want to DO something, the only thing I can do is pray, meditate, hold in my mind that no matter the sequence of events: this too shall pass.

That all who’s lives are touched by the disease that will take whatever it can, it cannot take memories, cannot take love, cannot take true friends, cannot take our spirits. Some of us survive the horrible treatments, even watch our bodies slip and fail only to return. Some of us pass to the next path. We all overcome cancer. WE all overcome and find comfort in unexpected ways.

By Jane Kenyon

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

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