A poem by my friend Sarah Broom

I have a friend named Sarah Broom who is also ALK positive and battling stage four lung cancer. She lives in New Zealand and is the mother of three boys and a fine poet. Her diagnosis came just before the delivery of her third child, and somehow, someway, she has managed in the time since to complete and publish a beautiful book of poetry. Quite a few of the poems reflect on her illness, and this particular piece regarding motherhood got me right in my heart. Sarah was kind enough to have her publisher authorize reproduction here:

because
the
world
can
do
that
to
you
 

 

 
and
if
the
world
did
do
that
to
you,
 
and
took
me
from
you,
before
the
time
 
was
true
and
right
and
before
we
all
had
time
 
to
see
the
things
and
do
the
things
and
tell
 
the
things
we
need
to
tell,
to
see,
to
do,
 
so
many
things
I
cannot
even
imagine
them

 
because
you
are
only
six,
 
and
your
mind
is
crowded
with
soccer
and
cricket
 
and
deep‐sea
life,
with
knights
and
Narnia
 
and
the
thermohaline
conveyor,
and
when
you
were
five
 
you
cried
inconsolably
for
forty‐five
minutes
 
when
the
All
Blacks
lost,
and
already
when
you
read
 
you
cannot
hear
my
voice,
and
you
are
fierce
 
and
deep
and
I
am
afraid
for
you

 
and
because
you
are
only
two
and
three‐quarters
 
and
your
heart
is
full
of
trains
and
racing
cars
 
and
tigers
and
Tiggers
and
dinosaurs,
and
when
 
you
jump
into
the
pool
with
your
water‐wings
on
 
your
face
explodes
with
surprise
and
joy,
every
 
single
time,
and
you
are
tough
and
resilient
 
and
cheeky
as
hell
but
you
still
need
to
know
 
where
I
am,
about
every
three
minutes

 
and
because
you
are
only
nearly
one
and
your
mind
 
is
full
of
god
knows
what
–
sticky
things,
shiny
things,
 
soft
things,
loud
things,
faces
and
brothers
and
chuckles
 
and
screams,
and
every
time
you
lie
drinking
 
your
bottle
by
yourself
I
think
of
all
the
times
 
I
wasn’t
there,
of
how
they
rushed
you
into
life
 
like
there
wasn’t
enough
time
in
the
world,

 
which
there
isn’t,
sometimes

 
so
if
the
world
did
do
that
to
you
 
and
took
me
from
you,
before
the
time
 
was
true
and
right
and
before
we
all
had
time
 
to
do
the
things
we
need
to
do,
to
fight
more
 
and
laugh
more
and
be
bored
together
 
over
and
over,
to
ease
into
the
big
questions
 
slowly,
not
all
at
once,
not
like
that,
 
like
a
trapdoor
opening
up
 
under
your
feet
 
and
a
sickening
drop

 
but
if
the
world
did
do
that
to
you,

 
I
have
to
think
that
you
would
be

 
all
right

 
after
all

 


 
Tigers
at
Awhitu,
(Manchester:
Carcanet
Press,
2010).
Included
here
with
the
permission
of
the
author
and
the
publisher,
not
for
reproduction.


17 responses to “A poem by my friend Sarah Broom

  1. Absolutely awesome poetry. I can hear my late wife speaking them about her fight and our now 4 year old. She also was from New Zealand

    • David, I’m sorry about your wife. Sarah certainly captures that fierce love as well as our faith that it will all be okay…

      Linnea

  2. Well, crap, I am now sitting here in front of my screen, over my hastily wolfed dinner, with rivulets of mucopolysaccharide running out of my nose.
    Beautiful. Everything is worth the fight, and the fight is worth everything.
    Joan

  3. Linnea Chica,
    That is a beautiful poem and it speaks true. Thanks to Sarah. Thanks to you for speaking out strong and true. We think of you often, and tomorrow we’ll be concentrating extra hard, sending the good vibes and miracle juju hope. Hope for miracle juju. You know what I mean!
    xo Cristina

    • Cristina, truth is the best. Hard sometimes, but always right. Love you and I can feel those good vibes already…

      swedish chica

  4. And when I got to the line: “and when you read you cannot hear my voice”…that’s what brought the tears…I am sure, that although our children come to hear their own voice reading…our voices will always be in their hearts and minds…I’m counting on it.

  5. Thank you Linnea and Sarah, for phrasing the truths and emotions we share.
    Wednesday evening, hoping the little pill has found it’s job to do.
    Love,
    Anja

  6. Thinking of you, today.

  7. Wow. What a poem. What beautiful wonderment.

    Love and “misses”,
    Brian & Jen

  8. Linnea,

    Thanks for sharing this unbelievable awesome poem that catches the essence of everything we love and everything we are afraid of – yet at the core we have to believe that at the end of it all – everything will be ok…

    Thank you Sarah for this beautiful peice of art….I look forward to reading more of your work.

    Diane

  9. Thank you to Linnea and everyone who has replied here. Thanks to Linnea for your friendship across the miles and for publishing this poem in a context which feels entirely right and good. Thanks to everyone else for reading it with openness and love. With very warm wishes, Sarah.

  10. Damn that’s sadder then all hell especially now Sarah has died beforethetimewastrueandright.

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