Poetry 2011 / Volume 42

Friends of My Childhood — Ann Struthers

I remember their courageous laughter
echoing down hospital corridors;
I see Lila San Domingo after
surgery, after radiation, more
alive than my friends back home at school Snow
fell soft and deep that winter – Shirley Byrd
diminished daily as she watched it grow.
Her mother never uttered the hard word
leukemia.  Todd flirted with the nurses.
“After chemotherapy, no hair grew,”
his mom said. He whirled his wheelchair. Curses
locked his teeth. Friends of my childhood, you
keep your narrow rooms shut against Spring’s air,
Rain washes your bones. Grass grows from your hair.

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