John Dorsey

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Cancer Song #4

the ladybugs on my ceiling
only come out
for their short dance in the sun
not once thinking
about the passage of time
what they’re doing matters
simply because they’re doing it
it doesn’t require words
or even care about what gets left behind
they came here to live
the thought of dying
is a human thing
that comes & goes so fast
that it simply gets left
in the dust.


Cancer Song #5
for steve burrik

when we were fourteen
you sang out
on the back of the bus
with your whole body
letting the hairs on your half-shaved head
blow in the breeze
cancer made you quiet
skating down invisible alleys
i think of a song now
remember me & you
i do

i think about things
that were meant to last
but can never get
the ending right.


Cancer Song #6
for annie menebroker & sandy thomas

you said it was no big deal
until it was
just a shot once a week
followed a glass of red wine
& a warm smile
that will never fade away
a laugh that echoed
through any short lived moment of sadness
toward your time
in the sun
up until the very end
with sandy holding your hand.



John Dorsey is the former Poet Laureate of Belle, Missouri. He has been publishing in the small press since the early 1990’s. He is fighting the good fight against cancer.