drawing, Poetry, Writing


Here is a poem and drawing about surgery I had as a child. It was in December when I was 15 that I had the unexpected, very serious surgery. Now each December I relive that trauma more forcefully than at other times during the year. Several years ago I wrote a poem about the experience. And last week, as I thought about the poem and the surgery, I also drew an image of healing for the 15 year old I was who is still part of the old woman I now am.


Today it’s raining dark December in Toronto.

Soon night will fall.

At 15 in another country

I am alone in a white gown and cap


and wheeled to the operating room.

There it is cold

and the eyes of masked faces look down at me.

Soon in a blank space that my body knows

the wholeness of my skin

is taken from me.

A poignancy or frailty is in the December air

a hunter of children

where memory slips into dreams

and the darkness of the month

becomes a blanket

barely anesthetizing the body

that carrier of the traces of knives

and of a lonely child

lost in the turning of the seasons

in the hands of men and women

carving her life-to-be with want.

© Lily S. May, 2011 – 14

4 thoughts on “December”

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