Touch: The Journal of Healing


Autumn 2003

    by Larina Warnock

We’ve learned to measure life

in the segments between liquid meals,

become accustomed to your g-tube

as though it was always a part of you.

Your sister once asked why you have two

belly buttons.  For a moment, I remembered

the reason for the first one, this physical, visible

symbol of my original gift to you.  These days,

I attach your feeding tube and don’t think

twice about the correlation between umbilical

needs pre- and post-birth.  It’s just another tool

like orthotics we strap to your feet and hands, or

therapy equipment scattered through the house, or

the wheelchair with cushioned supports that keeps

you upright and mobile.  These things mean little

and everything to us, giving you

chances no doctor thought you’d have.

More often, I think of the dimple

on your left cheek when you laugh, chestnut

curls around your face, eyelashes no woman

could have.  These are the things that make me

forget the degree and time span of your need, or

these are just the things worth remembering.

© 2010 Larina Warnock

Larina Warnock writes poetry & prose from Corvallis, Oregon where she lives with her husband and four children.  Her work, which often details the healing journey of her family, has appeared as a top ten winner in Writer's Digest's poetry competition, Wheelhouse Magazine, The Oregonian, Space & Time Magazine, and many others.  Her chapbook, Guitar Without Strings, is scheduled for publication by The Lives You Touch Publications in 2010.  She serves as the site administrator for the discussion forum, editor of The Externalist, and chair of Writers on the River.


Editor’s Choice

Copyright © 2010

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.