Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Bolt From the Blue

“The Bolt From the Blue”

The Twenty-sixth of April, Two Thousand and Two:
Life seemed so good on that day in the spring
But then late that morning, like a bolt from the blue,
Tidings arrived that would change everything

The doctor proclaimed, as he studied the X-ray,
“In your chest there’s a mass that is foreign and large”
For ten seconds or longer, I had nothing to say,
Becoming mute as a corpse while terror took charge

My brain, in that time, was frozen in fear
I wondered how events would transpire in my life
Would my time all expire by the end of this year?
Oh God, how to break this dark news to my wife?

I struggled in vain to find serenity and peace
All my focus was on just one word: “Lymphoma?”
Scrawled on the X-ray with a pencil of grease
I knew the import despite no doctor’s diploma

As some months before, a single stealthy lymph cell
Had decided to conduct guerilla warfare with zest
And it relentlessly grew, once it chose to rebel,
Into cancerous masses in my belly and chest

I began to recover from my initial shock
I knew that my courage I must somehow revive
And so, in my thoughts, I began to take stock
Of the actions I’d take to make sure I’d survive

I didn’t yet know all the tough trials I would face
But I knew that a warrior I would now have to be
For to live was the trophy for winning this race
Second place was a grave; that I plainly could see

Nine years have passed by, living healthy and strong,
Discovering things of myself that I never knew,
Meeting wonderful folks as the years rolled along,
Learning much about life from that bolt from the blue!

Art Ritter

April 26,2011

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