Not the Same
I've never mentioned it to her, don't know
if anybody has, the fact
she's never looked the same.
I don't know how old I was when Mama
took sick with strange disease
and even stranger name.
"Arasyplis" was what I thought they said.
I couldn't find it under "A"
in the big doctor book.
Perhaps I had the spelling wrong.
Maybe it started with the letter"E".
I took another look.
"Erysipelas", a dangerous skin disease.
I almost closed the book, not sure
I wanted to read more,
afraid it would say Mama would die.
"Caused by Streptococcus bacterium."
I quickly shut the door.
"Inflammation and swelling of the skin".
I'd be in trouble if they found me there,
not wanting me to know.
"Sometimes spreads rapidly, ending in death."
My mama was going to die and I
wondered where we would go.
Could Papa take care of us without Mama?
My sister and my baby brother were
still so small.
I wished that I had never learned to read
and didn't know how sick my mama was,
of this disease at all.
Mama's face swelled beyond recognition.
Every night I prayed she'd live but
didn't tell them what I'd read.
Our little town had no hospital then.
The doctor came bringing a nurse, who stayed
to tend her in her bed.
My mama did get better and
the swelling went away;
but Mama hasn't looked the same,
not to this very day.
By: Joyce 07/29/06