FNS: When The Day Lilies Open by Mary Sesso

Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative, poem,
spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Tonight’s poem is from Mary Sesso


She awakens sleep-deprived
on the oncology ward
offended by the cloudy light
that’s opening the day lilies
in her back yard.

Cancer has again pruned away
dreams not about itself–
it wants to own her breasts,
dream about spreading
its wings

She’s angry at the malice
of bruises that crowd
her arms like flower buds,
gaudy shades of purple,
green, yellow.

And she’s growing tired
of the middle and wonders
how it will end, weary of that face
with dark socketed eyes
straining to see the impossible.

But the sky turns cerulean blue,
heaven blue, and hope
puts down a tiny root
even as a poppy bruise
flowers around the I.V.


Mary Sesso is a retired nurse, active in 3 poetry writing groups, and is a member of the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. In her spare time, she volunteers at the National Children’s Center.

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