Poetry Of Healing: Tethered To Life


by Karen Keller Capuciati

 

Enough, it was enough
Enough pain
It needed to end
I needed it to end
That was all
Not to feel pain anymore

This is the opening of Christine Sherwood’s poem, “I Saw Her Face” — the fourth poem we’ve featured from her book, Help Me Remember Who I Am:  Poetry of Healing.

It’s a deeply emotional and beautifully raw poem, which reveals one of the darkest moments in Christine’s life — when she wanted to end it all.  In her long, complicated battle with rectal cancer, Christine reached a low point that perhaps many others can relate to and empathize with.  For Christine, it was her connection to her child that brought her back from the brink. “Would the pain I inflict on her be greater than mine in this moment?” she asks.

You’ll have to read the poem to see where that question took her.

Years after Christine’s recovery, she found a new voice somewhere inside her — indeed, she calls herself a conduit rather than a writer — and compiled the book of poetry that we have been delighted to share with the our audience.  The video presented here, recorded exclusively for In Care of Dad, was shot last October before an audience at Lenny Foster’s Living Light Gallery in her hometown of Taos, New Mexico.

I Saw Her Face

Enough, it was enough
Enough pain
It needed to end
I needed it to end
That was all
Not to feel pain anymore
I moved as if asleep
I gathered my allies for the moment
Morphine, lortab, lorazepam
They were the pathways to freedom
Freedom from this body
It would be so easy . . . just . . . swallow

Then my heart screamed
What about her?
The soul you carried for nine months
Your first, your only
And I saw her face
And I heard her laugh
And I remembered the feel of her at my breast
Would the pain I inflict on her be greater than mine in this moment?
There is no answer for this
There is only the witness of the suffering of the world
Of legless beggars on trains
Of mothers holding dying hungry children
Of being eaten alive by life itself
If not for them, then for her
For she is the world
No more time to ponder
The dreaded answer is clear
I call out to my own mother
Take these!
Please dear mother
Save me from my small self
The one that begs for mercy not believing God hears
Let me fall to my knees with a heart and soul
Raw from misunderstanding and
Be held in the arms of angels
That assure me that I can understand
I am truth
I am pure light
I am pure love
And not to give into death’s tricks anymore
Death will have to do his own work

For those of you who have not experienced Christine’s prior poetry readings, check out the earlier videos of “Cancer Is Kali – Kali Is Cancer” and “Breathe.”

You can purchase her book at www.christine-sherwood.com.

 

 

 

 

 



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