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Update on Pat PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Fones   
Thursday, 13 November 2008 03:47



I learned via e-mail from one of her sons that Pat is in a coma and is not responding to medication. Please keep, her husband, and their three sons and their families in your prayers. Thanks, again.

Here's a sample of her poetry. Proceeds from her book, "Daring to Dance, Refusing to Die," as well as other publications of hers - and entrepreneurial ventures of her husband, Rich - go to support breast cancer research.

©1997 Patricia Mees Armstrong
(from DARING TO DANCE, REFUSING TO DIE, Small Poetry Press)

Sleeping and waking ... we talk in the night
he moves at my stirring as if I am
the spoon in his bowl of pudding ... he is
hungry ... I pad to the kitchen under
his remote control from our bed ... he wants
2 a.m. cocoa and graham crackers
the sandy crumbs outlast his hunger (we
learn that in the morning) ... as he slurps
and chews, I touch his chest and follow the pink
surgical maps zig-zagging directions
We have defined our closeness for forty
years ... he says we should prepare for what-the-
gone...he will be the first to go, he says,
and cites the mounting evidence in fat
medical records (hand-carried when we
travel or move or both ... those chest maps come
in handy) SO, he asks again, what will
I do when he's gone ... he expects me to
joke ... it's my way of handling pain at first
(it's all I really have in common with
Reagan, I tell him) ... to humor us
both, I say, oh, I'll go back to Crete and
walk my numbed feet on the beach stones and eat
souflaki at Anna's and pretend not
to be a tourist, euxapisto, and
wave at the goatboys who stole our apples
before they ripened.....I'll fend off Stavros'
(the landlord) ... passes when I pay my rent
My master listens with low-lidded eyes
I say, dear, I have great ailments myself
remember, Milord, you play doctor with me
every day it's needles and swabs
and the King with the axe and a neat pair
of dead feet takes it all ... SO it's MY turn
if I should die before you wake, what will
YOU do ... he smiles ... he would desert the cold
winter of his loss ... fly to Oahu
on wings and play golf until he dropped dead
aloha ... seriously, I ask him
really, what would you do if I go first
He turns his head on the propped pillows and
says ... I don't know ... I don't know ... we are too
close ... I move to taste the salt on his face
strange ... he's on a low-sodium diet
We hold each other and wait for someone
to speak first ... he does ... he could swear we're near
the ocean...there is sand in this bed and
he smells salt ... crumbs and tears make me think hard
I say, do you know what? ... I've decided
not to die for now ... yeah, me, too, he says


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