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Poetry Magnum Opus

April 6 Life is Not Fair


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Proof That Often Life Is Not Fair

Not a pretty girl
by most standards, though redhead
with a temper to match,
too tall, rawboned, and angular,
but much smarter than most,
funny, and just a little snarky.

College grad, bookstore manager,
and part-time playwright and actress.
Shot on the streets 
of San Francisco while in pursuit
of a purse snatcher, she was 7 months
pregnant at the time.
Flesh wound, baby unharmed,
but her marriage was never
healthy and did not last.

Her only child lost
in his late teens 
to a life of dropouts, dealers, and drugs,
hunted and missing 20 years,
she's convinced he now resides
at the bottom of the bay.

Defying conventions
went back to school at 50
to become a healer of children
and rose to Hospital,
Director of Pediatrics.

For play she traveled
the third world,
training local doctors
and healing indigent children.

Retirement forced
by a tired, failing brain, dementia
creeping, cloying, destroying.

Today I sat with the shadow
of my younger cousin,
hair faded, fine, and graying,
her tall frame stooped,
rail thin, diminished, and frail.
Recognition was in her eyes
coupled with sadness and surrender.
We laughed a little, cried a little, 
                      and hugged a lot.  
                        ~~Judi Van Gorder

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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