by Alan Dragoo
Looking Back: The First Days of Recovery
[While we don’t have the text of the sermon from 25 Aug 02, this poem was read during that service.]
When time has turned a full year round
And the receding night
Lies in long shadows on the lawn,
a Sabbath now after seasons of healing
bids me recall first days
in a year’s slow passing.
The way was longer and harder
than we had supposed last year, confident and bound
for Boston, past sailboats bobbing on the Sound.
Only my head shaved and blessed,
Turned our words to our trip’s intent — surgery
to cure a blight of brain,
we thought benign
We imagined a rapid recovery
and did not speak of cancer then.
Post surgery, ICU.
Why am I afraid to meet your eye?
My left side has run away to hide
Where my words are stored.
My voice is like an old man’s, weak with age.
I can no longer I say, “I,”
I do not know who I am.
I use my finger to guide my eyes across the page.
Like a meager rain
In a season of drought,
A lone tear at night
Brings hope that healing has begun.
Each night, a mysterious hand within,
weaves my brain’s silken strands again.
Creation’s intricate web silently is spun.
Each bird-blessed morning, I am fed by grace
coming to my bedside —
coming with human hands and a human face.
— Alan Dragoo