February 1, 2023


Writer's Showcase

Observations In Oncology

2 min read

Observations In Oncology

In 2007 I had to receive treatment for cancer. For six weeks I daily attended the oncology department. I met people there that I will never forget.


Dreams are dispersed;
are long forgotten –
those which lit his face
and warmed his pained heart.
What is this being?
What is this nightmare
given to achieve?
The bitter witch mixed
her mucky brew and
passed the cup around …

“Oh come and drink my sticky brew…”
“Forget your frazzled working life…”
“Come, get sozzled right through…”
“This elixir’s made just for you.”

A poisoned chalice?
Call it what you will.
The throw of the dice?
Old fashioned bad luck?

And so he drank –
on his way home.
Released to be
savouring wet
salty kisses
on distant shores;
passion and love
on a sand beach.
Daydreamed good luck.
Harmless escape.
Never indulged
into excess.

But she invaded.
And now the greyness
consumes his being;
drip by drip, by cell.
First came a stabbing
sudden, fleeting pain.
Then deepening aches
after exertion.
And now hell on earth;
even breath is pained.

I am seized with the desire to touch him –
just a simple hand upon his shoulder.
Camaraderie? But it is not PC.

And this sun …
it shines
onto his back
and heats the place
where the cobalt
beams have redenned
his ageing skin.
She has almost
finished stealing him.
Even the life giving sun
brings him pain.
He will never be
the same again.

None of us will.


© Allen Ansell 2021

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2 thoughts on “Observations In Oncology

  1. When this was published on UKAuthors, ‘Sunken’ said of it, “Hello Mr. Griffonner. I had to look Oncology up, I really should have known by now what it meant. I guess ignorance is bliss. The poem suddenly, and painfully, makes sense. A truly top write so far as I’m concerned.”

  2. When published on UKAuthors, ‘SugarMama34’ said of it, “This is such a sad and touching piece of poetry, yet it all makes complete sense. Emotions are laid out well and the feelings are as clear as a spring stream. It pulls the reader in and won’t let go until the last word has been read.
    I sort of had a feeling as I read this what it was about, but had to look up Oncology and my intuition was right again.
    A very well penned piece you have here, though it tugged my hearts strings tight.”

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