Carol BoveeToday I’m linking up with Kirsten Oliphant’s group that meets each week to tell their Not So (Small) Stories. In this fifth edition, the prompt is ‘Word. Speech. Language’ and the goal is to develop our voice. If you’d like to join us, the link is here (the link up is open until Thursday evening).

They shoot at me from the other side of the table.
Some hit my face and leave pock marks and scars,
others zing past my ear, leaving a tinny whine in their path.
Some fly into my eyes, like planets and galaxies in a bad sci-fi movie.
But some words, oh some find their mark.

They enter my head and ping around inside
looking for a place of understanding in which to embed themselves.
They fire from the gun of the attending physician.
The new man in charge of my son.
The professor orchestrating the research.
Intensity. Time. Arm of the study.
His eyes search for understanding in mine.
His voice launches words into space.
There’s a word, giant and flashing in my brain.
That reality has already landed, but keeps digging in.
In fact, that’s the word I keep hearing.
It comes in different forms and styles,
but it keeps jumping up and down in my mind.
They skip across the table bouncing in unending blankness.
Induction. Intensive. Phase 1 and Phase 2.
Research study. Best kind of leukemia to have.
Neutropenic. Lymphocytic. Lymphoblastic. Acute.
Lumbar puncture. Echocardiogram.
Aspirating. Port-a-catheter. Pic line.
Back up. Really?
Best kind of leukemia to have?
What does that mean?
Floating in space, waiting to be pulled in and processed.
Methotrexate. Levels of dexamethizone.
3.5 year protocol.
Blood transfusion. Platelets. Plasma. Saline. Dextrose.
If smacks me in the face.
The reality of the battle embeds quickly and deeply.
Confusion. Fear. Unknown.
They shoot at me across the table.
Some zing into my consciousness
And I realize, with shock,
That soon
I will understand what they mean.