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