Thursday, December 8, 2011

55: in the night


it is the scrape of each raised ridge
fingerprint across mine, my hand
emptying as he disappears over
the edge---

questions forming in his mouth,
shock in his eyes---
that wakes me

on the floor by his bed,
i stroke the cyst in his neck

his soft breath(es)
his soft breath(es)

mark time til dawn.

Over at dVerse Poets, Victoria has written a very nice article on evoking emotion for Meeting the Bar. And having said it in 55 words, I will report in to g-man.


Some of you may have seen on Twitter that a large cyst has appeared where the jaw meets the neck on my son. It came up rather sudden two days ago. They have ruled out strep and mono. He had more testing this morning and he is now on medication to see if they can get it to go down.

Also, I was interviewed this week, over here on writing and life.

113 comments:

happygirl said...

Brian, I pray it is not serious and he is well soon. I know you must be apprehensive.

manicddaily said...

Oh Brian--this was already a very powerful poem and then to hear it is your son is just terribly disturbing. Hard to even comment on it as a poem (though it is a beautiful one--I like the breath(es) especially as it really does some up the act in a sick child or person.)

Agh, but I hope he's okay. These things are very weird--cysts especially--can even be the body's attempt to heal some strange injury. Crazy. Best wishes and prayers. K.

Titanium said...

Thoughts are with you and your son- hoping he heals comprehensively and soon.

EMK said...

Great piece! At first I couldnt figure out until I read the background. :)

I hope he will be okay!!

magicinthebackyard said...

well wishes to your son. Hugs!

tinkwelborn said...

the paternal-child bond…the emotion of love,
probably the strongest ever.

I happen to catch some of the comments going down to post this…I didn't realize this poem is deeply literate, that you are experiencing an issue to which this piece arises. I pray, hope, wish the best for you and your child.

the poem is very emotional.

Li said...

Best wishes, healing thoughts. It's a frightening thing when something, anything happens to your child. :-(( A lot of emotion packed into 55 words.

pspacer11 said...

Damn, that made me shiver and that takes some doing these days when its all too easy to be cynical.

Betsy said...

aw, just what y'all needed... a little stress. So sorry..hope it's nothing serious and you can breath easy soon.

Rae said...

As a parent, I know how worried you must be. Praying for you and your son and asking that the cyst heals and goes away quickly. Best wishes.

Bethany Ann said...

no explanation needed -- from one parent to another. God be with you.

Victoria said...

Oh, damn, Brian. Okay, prayers on tap (again) and please let us know. Very effectively presented...made me feel the anxiety.

Daniel said...

Brian - praying for you and your boy. Stay strong.

kaykuala said...

Brian,
So sorry to hear. Pray everything would be ok for your boy!

Hank

Heaven said...

Sorry to read this and hope all will be well with your son. I am praying for your family

I enjoyed reading your interview and learned something about your life before blogging. The muse being your kids, touched me deeply. All the best ~

G-Man said...

I well remember sleepless nights with my children...
Not the sort of storyline inspiration that we hope for.
Excellent job Son
Thanks for playing, and have a Kick ASS Week-End

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Beautiful pic and beautiful poem.

Hope your son recovers from that cyst quickly, those are not fun at all.

Fred said...

Brian, I truly hope all works out for the best with your son and the medication works to reduce the cyst. Incredible job channeling this period of questions into such a powerful piece of poetry. I'll keep him in my prayers. Thanks

Anyes said...

Sending healing thoughts and prayers for your son's quick recovery :-)

hedgewitch said...

You certainly succeed in evoking emotion--concern, anxiety, tenderness--in this. Best wishes for your son--I'm sure it's a stressful thing for him, and all of you.

Linda said...

I'll be praying too Brian. Those nights seem an eternity long. What a great Dad you are.

moondustwriter said...

it is sooo hard when our kids are suffering / easier for us
hang in there dad
prayers for your little one...

ayala said...

Brian, I will keep him and your family in my prayers.

pandamoniumcat said...

I do hope the cyst isn't anything serious...it's scary and worrying when these things happen to your children...I could feel it in your poem today. Best wishes with you and your family!

Pat Hatt said...

Hopefully it's nothing serious at all, but I can only imagine all the scenarios playing through in you head as you look at it. Hope the recovery is quick and christmas cheer comes back around once more.

PattiKen said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this, Brian. I know exactly how you are feeling. When my youngest son was just under two, he suddenly developed a cyst the size of a grapefruit in the same spot you describe. It came with a 105-degree fever. We went right to the hospital, where he ended up spending a week in a crib inside a humidity bubble. I'll never forget the sound of his screams coming down the hall when they pluged him into an ice bath to get his fever down. They were never sure what caused it, but suspected an extreme and unusual case of "cat scratch fever."

He recovered completely, and I pray for the same for your son.

Alice Audrey said...

How frightening.

Every little sniffle my kids come down with puts me on pins and needles. Something like a cyst would have me very worried.

I hope he gets better soon.

Steve E said...

Can't they excise the cyst? I had one (left side) from holding the violin under my chin eight hours a day. Doc said the Big "C" word. It was nonmalignant.

Nice words...you had me feeling that 60-year-old cyst once again in such a real way.

Thanks, Brian!

secret agent woman said...

There is nothing in this world like dealing with a child's medical issues.

Mama Zen said...

Wonderful write.

Prayers for your son. Please keep us informed, okay?

5thsister said...

I remember similar emotions when my daughter was hospitalized for a rare pneumonia and being tested for Cystic Fibrosis. Healing prayers being offered up for your boy.

Me said...

Years ago, I came across an ad for asthma - the slogan was "When a child can't breathe, neither can his mother". That really resonated with me - I know that every bump on the road for either of my kids jostles me far more than it does them...

Hoping for a quick resolution for your son and for you.

PS - Nice interview...enjoy seeing a bit of the man behind the blog. :)

TALON said...

I hope it's nothing serious, Brian, and that the medication does the trick. Yes, if only our love for our kids had the power to keep them safe from everything...

farmlady said...

I understand what you're going through. These are the times when you breath for them... and keep going.
Hope this is just a false distress signal. Hope it comes to nothing.
Hope, hope, hope...

Mary said...

Brian, this is scary stuff. I hope your son will be okay. It is such a worry when things are not right with one's child. Please let us know how he is. A powerful poem of worry. Prayers sent.

Teresa said...

I hope it's nothing too serious with your son. Sending goat hugs to him. :-)

turtlememoir said...

Brian, what a lovely, caring write - and I am so sorry to hear this about your son... sending lots of love your (his, your family's) way

Laurie Kolp said...

OMG- I missed that, Brian. I hope you get some answers soon.

Your poem is definitely emotional and very effective!

sharplittlepencil said...

Brian, all prayers and meditations are with you. This shocked me, and yet it's proof of your mettle... that you can share this moment (horrific for any parent) with us in poetic form. You are built of strong timber, my friend. Keep us posted. Love and healing to you all, Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/dragons-breath/

Goat said...

Things that make us lean into God. Horrifying sometimes. We are taken to the edge and there...

we decide to leap into hope.

Is there a more attentive father than the one who is in that free fall?

Unknown Mami said...

So sorry to hear about your son. Keeping you all in my thoughts.

Margaret said...

Is it a cyst or a lymph? This squeezed my heart and I know how you feel. My daughter has had upper right quadrant pain and after multiple blood tests, urine, ultrasound, etc., (all negative) they think it might just be scar tissue from her appendectomy last year. Time will tell.

I will say a prayer tonight for your little man.

The Gooseberry Garden said...

I'm sure your son is going to be okay, breathe easy.

Tomorrow is another day,
All sorrows will go away.

bless you and your entire family,
prayers!

xo

Magpie said...

Blessings and healing prayers.

Tara Miller said...

I can sense your worry in this one. Don't like it when my babies are under the weather or worried.

Thanks to all for the prayers - know they're much appreciated!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I read this and burst into tears-- Sending big hugs and many prayers for your sweet son. I hope the meds do the trick and he's 100% very soon.
jj

Claudia said...

can imagine how you feel..have sat many a nights at my daughter's bed when she was so sick...prayers...

Joanna Jenkins said...

PS Fantastic interview!

chanibrenner said...

what an emotional poem...my heart goes out to you and your son...he will be in my thoughts...

Sheila Moore said...

prayers for your son. This happened to me a few years back. It ended up that I was scratched by a cat at the animal shelter and that there actually is a thing called "cat scratch fever." It inflammed the lymph nodes on my neck so much that I looked a bit deformed.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Poor kid. As grownups we know the likelihood is that it's just some dumb thing that'll get better soon, but it must be so hard for you to be brave for him in the meantime.

PS: I had a lump on my back when I was 3 that terrified my parents and baffled the doctors. The day before surgery to remove it, the lump began changing color. It was just a bruise. May your son's lump be something equally silly.

Kathy Bischoping said...

Yikes. Yikes! But, to the writing...what intrigued me about this was the contrast between the worrisome topic and the musicality of marking time, reinforced by the chorus-like feel of the "his soft breath(es)" and the lines of music corresponding to fingerprint ridges.

Madhulika said...

I am really very sorry for your son... Dont worry.. He'll be fine soon.. Take care

Patricia said...

waiting with you in thought and prayer...
healing, comfort and tender mercies...

MorningAJ said...

Positive thoughts heading in your direction. I hope all goes well for your son.

adeeyoyo said...

I can't believe it, Brian. First you and now your son. God bless you both, heal you and keep you safe.

Btw, the poem does do what you intended - excellently!

The Silver Fox said...

My prayers are with you that this is some relatively insignificant thing.

anthonynorth said...

You and your son are in my thoughts.

Maggie May said...

Hope your son's cyst proves to be completely harmless. Must be a worry for you while you wait though.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Lorraine said...

oh he's in my prayers, I send all my health angels to him, I've had lumps well it did turn out to be mononucleosis, whatever it is, it'll be easily taken care..."Cause I insist, and I have no trouble at all being immpudent with God...so God cure him now, and tell us the good news that it's nothing...hugs and kisses to you, your wife, your sons

Dave King said...

As one parent to another: blessings on you all.
As one poet to another: congratulations.

SueAnn said...

I am praying for him right now!! And prayers for you and your lovely wife!
Hugging you all
SueAnn

JANU said...

Best wishes and prayers...Your son will be fine.

aka_andrea said...

This is beautiful, there is nothing more moving than a parent sitting next ot child's bed at night when fear is at its strongest. Beautifully done. Good thoughts and prayers to you.

izzy said...

I was going to comment last night, but the viper was out and very cynical...
Loosing a grip is never pleasant with voids.Eyes slowly taking in truth-well, not always fun. Guarding someone you love through the night,
draining. You nailed it!

Caty said...

Praying it's nothing serious. Hope the medicine works and/or they figure out what it is so they can take care of it. I'm sure the nightmares this is causing is pretty frightening...

rain :: said...

brian, thank you SO much for letting me interview you. i truly enjoyed seeing your heart just a little more. :-)

please keep us updated about your son. praying for your family....

Daydreamertoo said...

Darn, I hope they can get it sorted out as soon as possible. Scary for everyone, especially your boy and especially as it is so big too.

Re Your comment: The trouble is Brian, nothing good has ever come out of the UK joining Europe. All it's been is being told by another country, you will do this and that, and paying more and more into it all with not much in return. We always did trade with Europe anyway and if we came out of it, we'd still trade with them but not have to pay billions to shore up other countries when the UK has so many in desperate need of its finances. I doubt if the USA would allow some faceless men in some other country to tell them what laws they could use or not in America. Europe has tried to unite ready for the red tide now sweeping in from China (and Russia trying to flexing it's muscles again now too) but, it's asking too much to give up your own countries currency or to tie it all up into a central bank to some other country.

♫♪♥PhilO♥♪♫ said...

I hope your son gets better soon..
Do let us know when he gets better..

Jyoti Mishra said...

poem is simply beautiful :)
As always I loved it... Nice read.

I wish he gets better soon !!
take care !!

AmyLK said...

Saying a prayer that they can make it go away quickly. Keep holding him close to you until they do.

Becky Sain said...

Big hugs.

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

Best wishes for your son, Brian.

Grandmother said...

It's just what we do, isn't it? Watch them breath, will them to breath, pray for more breaths. A heart breaking poem at a difficult time. Blessings on your boy.

Valerie said...

Prayers will be said for your son, Brian. Poor little boy, I know you won't let him be scared.

Sue said...

There are no greater worries than the ones we have for our children.

He's in my prayers, Brian. And I hope this resolves very soon.

=)

Whosyergurl said...

Brian,
Nothing tears at a parent's heart more than wanting to "fix" whatever is wrong with your child and not being able to. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family. Interview was great!
Cheryl

Kerry O'Connor said...

This holds far more pain than a metaphorical tray of songbirds: the fear that grips the parental heart is tangible in this one.

I hope that he is better soon.

Neel said...

Pray for your son...your poem touches...

Selina Kingston said...

Sending good wishes your way - can imagine just how worried you are. Thinking of you x

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Brian - did not know that about your son. I hope and pray that everything will be okay. xxoo

Sam!! said...

Powerful words!

Blessings!

ayala said...

I just read your interview and I enjoyed it. You are a wonderful writer and a wonderful human being.

CiCi said...

Be sure to let us know about the cyst. My son gets something in his neck once in awhile and then it recedes. He over forty now and still gets it occasionally.

Myrna R. said...

The poem certainly stirred emotion. Most of your poems do. But then, to discover that it was about your son, emotions stirred again.

I know how we worry over our children. I feel connected in that sense to you and your wife. I pray for your son's health.

Also, I'll check out the interview.

(Sorry, that I'm not reading your posts regularly. I don't seem to get to the computer as much as I used to. Hope you don't mind that I just catch up.)

deb colarossi said...

Brian!

you know I will pray.

thoughts and love for you and your family.

Janice said...

It is so frightening when our children have an ailment or injury... so well conveyed in your poem.

Mari said...

I'm hoping everything turns out okay and the cyst is just a bump in the road you'll barely remember in 20 years.

The poem will be remembered much longer than that, I suspect. It's beautifully real.

Luke Prater said...

what an intriguing, arresting piece. I love how the 55 word thing makes you think carefully about every single one. It creates great poetry.. the cyst line really got me man

Vodka Mom said...

oh sweet Lord. This journey we are on has so many twists and turns. I am praying for you.


And I thank you, from my heart, for being such a good friend. Let me know what i can do.

Vodka Mom said...

and as the parent of THREE CHILDREN, I can say that your whole life will be peppered with Fear and Joy and Fear and Joy and Fear....


you get it.

The Orange Tree said...

All of a sudden, life becomes fearsome, isn't it?

Healthy parents would not produce sickly kids, thus, your son is going to be okay.

Prayers.
Bless Him!

Margie said...

Hard to read this one!
I pray your son will be okay!
Sending healing thoughts!

yellowhousecafe said...

a lovely poem of concern for your son.

I shall assume that the simple have been ruled out but will offer this...a month ago, I had the same thing in that locale (golf ball size) appear out of the blue. In the end, my face swelled all the way to my eye for two days. Ruled an infection in a gland? who knew! Just a thought....

My thoughts are will you all, peace ~

yellowhousecafe said...

(ha! we were posting at the same time the first go round)
Good thoughts and hope it is as simple! Mine did take almost a week to rid of all the swelling. I did 10 days of antibiotics.

Kay Irvin said...

Brian, Will keep your family in my thoughts. Hope all will be well with your son.

Lydia said...

Brian, oh dear. Was wondering if this was about your father, and then to read it concerns your son was an emotional punch that went beyond Victoria's prompt. He is in my prayers. Hang onto this poem so you can meditate on it when he's a strapping teen driving you half-out-of-your-wits!

It is a beautiful, beautiful poem.

Dave King said...

Came back for a second look at this. Nothing new to add, just that both image and verse are superb.

ladyfi said...

Oh no - so sorry to hear this.

Sending you all healing and loving thoughts.

Zeba said...

Hope he gets well soon. MY prayers are with him.. Lovely writing as usual. Will check out the interview now. :-)

Lorraine said...

Please let us know as soon as you have words if you can x sending healthy vibes your way

Angelina said...

Sending my best wishes to your son for a quick and complete recovery.

Helen said...

Dear Brian, catching up with my favorite writers this morning ...

Your last three posts were powerful .. my favorite? Open Link Night.

I'm send positive energy in your direction ... as a parent I know how hard it is to see a child any way other than healthy. Give him a squeeze from me.

FrankandMary said...

There are times it seems all anyone is doing is marking time...then that passes~or I fool myself.

Thinking & feeling can be poles apart. ~Mary

zumpoems.com said...

Extremely touching and powerful. Best wishes with your son.

Morning said...

very emotional and moving 55.

your writing style is always admirable!

:)

Birdie said...

oh Brian, I'm so sorry to hear that, prayers for his healing are send!!
ps: i had something like a bump/cyst exactly at the same place you describe this October, it would even move a bit to the sides ... it was related to a cold/fatigue ... there is a virus we all have in our head, it comes alive in this form when it has 'ideal' conditions ... it took abt 2 weeks to go away ... just wanted to share ...

Raven said...

I went over and read your interview before I commented on this poem. So, I am going to repeat your own words; everything happens for a reason. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Goofball said...

I didn't understand the poem entirely but I hope he's doing better

Heather said...

oh no! I just read this...my thoughts are with you and your wonderful family!!!!
HUGS!

Zuzana said...

I am sorry to hear about your boy, hope he will get well soon...:(
xoxo

Syd said...

I hope that he will be okay. Thinking of your son.

william said...

Brian we are all with you here, man, hope he gets better soon, its a bad time when our blood is sick :)