1. Home
  2. Poetry Magazine
  3. Poems
  4. Osteosarcoma: A Love Poem by Yvonne Zipter
Osteosarcoma: A Love Poem

Related Poem Content Details

For Easton, Zooey, and Nacho

Cancer loves the long bone,
the femur and the fibula,
the humerus and ulna,
the greyhound’s sleek physique,
a calumet, ribboned with fur
and eddies of dust churned to a smoke,
the sweet slenderness of that languorous
lick of calcium, like an ivory flute or a stalk
of  Spiegelau stemware, its bowl
bruised, for an eye blink, with burgundy,
a reed, a wand, the violin’s bow —
loves the generous line of  your lanky limbs,
the distance between points A and D,
epic as Western Avenue, which never seems to end
but then of course it does, emptying
its miles into the Cal-Sag Channel
that river of waste and sorrow.
I’ve begun a scrapbook:
here the limp that started it all, here
your scream when the shoulder bone broke,
here that walk to the water dish,
your leg trailing like a length
of   black bunting. And here the words I whispered
when your ears lay like spent milkweed pods
on that beautiful silky head:
Run. Run, my boy-o,
in that madcap zigzag,
unzipping the air.

Source: Poetry (May 2008)

More from this issue

This poem originally appeared in the May 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Osteosarcoma: A Love Poem

Related Poem Content Details

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Other Information