Cameron Morse was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2014. With a 14.6 month life expectancy, he entered the Creative Writing Program at the University of Missouri—Kansas City and, in 2018, graduated with an M.F.A. His poems have been published in numerous magazines, including New Letters, Bridge Eight, Portland Review and South Dakota Review. His first poetry collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His three subsequent collections are Father Me Again (Spartan Press, 2018), Coming Home with Cancer (Blue Lyra Press, 2019), and Terminal Destination (Spartan Press, 2019). He lives with his pregnant wife Lili and son Theodore in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he manages Inklings’ FOURTH FRIDAYS READING SERIES with Eve Brackenbury and serves as poetry editor for Harbor Review.
Even if I left the door open, my little light
would fall short of the dark where he screams
himself awake. The curb’s week-old snowbank
crumbles in the drippings of January rain.
Sitting on a neighbor’s stoop,
Theo takes a draught from his sippy cup.
Mariah and I leave the theater in darkly icing rain.
I offer to scrape her windshield.
In the morning I chisel my wife’s. The wipers twitch
intermittently. Left on since yesterday.
Theo mouths the spigot of the empty laundry detergent bottle
I laid aside for recycling
in the flowerbed. When he enters the thorny crevasse
of a rosebush, I give him an airlift.
Notice my sister’s tattoo for the first time—Yahweh
in cursive, scratched into her
forearm. Dad would never have permitted that.
Sky dark, prickly. Slight rain mists. An estuary
of lank leaves branches around us.
Slabs of encrusted snow crater the big yew bushes
where overwintering sparrows cheep.
Flowerbeds harbor the dirt-speckled leftovers of snow,
the wedding cake of the sun.