The Last Friday

The Last Friday is a poetry editing group. Once a month, we post a poem and then offer feedback to the other poems on the Forum. We're a friendly but honest group. We value each other deeply and desire for every poet to be published or become famous.

    Most Likely


    Posts : 720
    Join date : 2011-09-12

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    Post  Pat on Wed May 27, 2015 11:32 am

    I have been waiting for this day to send this to you.  I want your reaction, no matter what they may be.  Normally I use ? sparingly.  Not so here.   : )   When you go through cancer, all you have questions.  And it stays a blur somewhat, no matter how many notes you take.  There are no hard and fast answers.   Whatever you see, I'm interested in improving it.  Thank you.

    Most Likely

    Is it cloud-hooded outside?
    Did they get me worked in?
    Will you keep walking the floor?
    Could this be cancer?
    Will you pray for me? 
    Was my bag brought inside?
    Can I wear my own pajamas afterwards?
    Must I hide my weird wonderment?
    Afterwards, will you count my stitches?
    Was the lump big?
    Did I talk during surgery?
    Will this be a year of tea and fortune cookies?
    Do you want to squawk like a heron?
    Will you be able to keep pulling this wagon?
    Do you figure this damp day carries any lessons?
    And are you going to still sleep beside me?
    Have I been ignoring cancer in my family history?
    Be honest.  Are you half-fascinated like me?
    Must I do chemo and radiation?
    Then will my hair fall out?
    Should I be appreciating these pills?
    Is the cost beyond what we can manage?
    Will my skin ever heal?
    Can I feel this lost and be a lucky sparrow?
    Are you still going to love me?
    Can we walk this rocky road holding hands?
    Will you start the coffee?

    Posts : 320
    Join date : 2014-10-25
    Age : 65
    Location : North Little Rock

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    Post  Karen on Wed May 27, 2015 4:16 pm

    Pat, the repeated questions work for me, both in creating the sense of the time being a blur, and conveying "all you have is questions".  That being said, I am also a big fan of repetition.

    The poem pulls me along, but I still want to break it into smaller chunks.  I also want the questions shorter and spikier.  One way you might divide the poem is grouping all the lines that begin with the same words together. Did I ... Do you ... Will we ... 

    Lots of emotion to work with here.

    Posts : 720
    Join date : 2011-09-12

    Most Likely Empty I hear you, Karen.

    Post  Pat on Wed May 27, 2015 4:44 pm

    I did chronological.  Just easier for me to write from.   But now, maybe I can look at it from that angle.   Thanks for the idea.   I'll look at that option.  I mainly wanted the answer to always be "most likely."   Even that was tricky on how to ask the question.  Also, I hear you on the break.  I'll think on it.
    Dewell H. Byrd

    Posts : 385
    Join date : 2012-01-05
    Age : 88
    Location : Central Point, OR

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    Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Fri May 29, 2015 4:22 pm

    The time element is somewhat jumbled... which seems to be typical when a crisis is at hand...
    A break after line six and another after line nine might be helpful... the sequence keeps me
    somewhat confused.  There is an underlying theme that might suggest a different title.  Try this for a title:  WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME?
    I'm reminded of a poem or story or conversation where he kissed the scar and that answered all questions.  Tough, tough subject.  Dewell

    Posts : 643
    Join date : 2011-05-21

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    Post  tsukany on Sat May 30, 2015 5:41 am


    The title doesn't connect me to the poem.  Maybe one with a bit more context?

    I expected more random line breaks and spacing during my first read.  I think stream-of-consciousness will allow the text to be scattered on the page more.  (Note: This forum will not allow us to see your extra spacing so we may need to wait to see it formatted in print)


    Posts : 720
    Join date : 2011-09-12

    Most Likely Empty Helpful thoughts here. . . .

    Post  Pat on Sat May 30, 2015 1:34 pm

    Thank you.  I may try two other versions. . . .  one with spacing and stream of consciousness and one with Dewell's suggested title.  

    The chronological for this story was:   diagnosis, chemo, surgery, chemo, more chemo plus radiation, more radiation, pain pills along the way.  Nausea was just a part of the 10 month journey.  No mention of port, PET Scans, giving up driving, my poor balance, living on scripture and nature, etc.   I did not want to burden the poem with too much stuff.  I think I could overdo it.  The main deal was that it affected my life and Jimmy's life.  And my main worry was that it would get too heavy for him.  Strangely, I was half-fascinated, half- scared, and sometimes the denial would kick in and save me.  : ) Weird, but the mind is an amazing tool.   I could not write a lick of poetry.  I could edit, but I could not create anything. 

    There is a blur to all of it (probably pain pills), but it was still quite a journey.  I won't ever be the same as before the journey.  My goal here is to capture a few snapshots of the journey.   (Not even touching the reconstruction here which happened 3 yrs later.)  I know this is not a contest poem, but I am hoping it might fit a journal, maybe a weird journal.   : )

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