Sunday, March 27, 2011

A poem

Inspired in part by the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and in part by Sarah Kay's TED speech, I've written a poem:


The 1950s
an era when human experimentation
was a regular occurrence, without
their knowledge or consent.
an era when doctors so focused
on helping humanity that, often,
individual patients didn't matter.
and a woman was lost.

but the story is really that
her children never knew
- such things weren't discussed.

in a family that slept, ate, grew, bathed, learned,
loved, laughed, cried in numbers in spaces
smaller than this,
no one talked about sickness
no one tole the children they had
a sister who had been institutionalized
no one told them a thing about
their mother - she was gone

Years later, as society realized she mattered,
the family pieced the story

And I think about my own family. My
mother and her generation were raised
much the same.
- you don't talk about this

My mother's mother died when Mom
was a young teen.
I was in college when I learned
it was cervical cancer.
When I first heard stories of
the illness.
How she got so sick, young Mom
had to drive her to chemo.

And we still have work to do.
I do not know enough.
I do not know what kind of
person she was.

But Mom sees in our lives the value of
these stories.
And soon we will sit down and share.
And my grandmother - who I've
never know as grandmother -
will become a living, breathing
story in my collection.

That defines me.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Winter reads

Book #4 -Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham. My first read of the Fables story and I love the concept. The artwork was awesome,too. The stories of Snow after marriage, King Cole, and others were awesome.

Book #5 -Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. I had heard people say this was one of the scariest things they've ever read. I listened to this on the drive to & from work, but it stuck in my head when I wasn't listening. I looked forward to getting in the car. It was quite creepy in spots and I even gasped and jumped a couple of times. The long "final showdown" was a bit excessively bloody, I think. Overall, I liked it.

Book #6 -The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Narrated by a very sharp, TV-educated dog and chock full of endurance auto racing analogies, I didn't expect to like this. I'm not a dog or an auto racing person by any stretch. But in the end, it's about a dog and his master and their journey thru life. I thought the race analogies quite insightful. And I didn't care that the dog wasn't always doggish. There were things that could have been improved, of course, but overall, a pretty good book.