Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Code-Breaking (Poem)


The doctor calls
when the news is bad.

That's how he makes
a connection you will

not, once dinner's on
the table and you're turning

over in your mind how
something so small could

become such a big deal.
Your wife stays mum

as you clean your plate,
your permission to say no

more than you think
you want her to know,

which is that every cause
has its effect: No body

betrays itself until it
breaks its own code.

© 2012 Maureen E. Doallas


Louise Gallagher said...

Oh Maureen.

this is powerful.

I am in awe of your ability to decode words into meaningful substance.

Rob Mustard said...

This is effective because it deals with something most of us have faced or will face: that ominous call. I like the way the poem is built around a simple meal, made part of everyday life, clarifying the betrayal (such an effective word!) of the body, My favorite poems are direct, seemingly simple, a window into something complex. This really works on all those levels.

Jerry said...

Mortality...no respecter of persons. Killer ending. No pun intended.

Brian Miller said...

ugh...this took me back to when my dad first got cancer..he kept it from us until were were sledding one day and he hit the place on his shoulder and blood went everywhere...

Felt said...

This poem MAKES the code.

Hannah Stephenson said...

Loving your line breaks...brilliant here, really.

Manicddaily said...

A very powerful poem. You write about these moments with great originality and felt detail--there are no cliches here (I'm almost sorry to say as it feels so direct and experiential.) The close is especially strong--so many codes at work. K .

Patricia said...

I so appreciate your writing Maureen...
clever word weaving in the midst of such difficulty and truth. Wow.

Laurie Kolp said...

Yes... bad news seems to come at dinner. I got the news about a friend's death at dinner, too.

Poignant and real... I love this.

S. Etole said...

A doctor calls and breathing pauses.

Joan Barrett Roberts said...

everyday drama unfolds ~ your poem delivers the complexity of life held within the serving of the day's meal ahi Ed the light upon the interactions of our daily routines when a crisis is anneverything it supersedes everything else!

Semaphore said...

The precise lines and words are like Morse code, tapping out its truth insistently and relentlessly.

wayside word garden said...

Interesting how little things, gestures, rituals, etc., can communicate much. A crisp, well-written, relatable piece.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

At once subtly understated, and packing a heck of a punch!

Robbie Pruitt said...

Great poem. Thank you for writing it.