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Poems and Thoughts    by Frank Maurer

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Radiation and Half a Beard.

I am, at 81, well into my Third Age.
With this comes challenges to health;
Cancer; the nemesis of human existence.
A neck squamous cell challenged my life
And it was decided to thoroughly operate;
Muscle removed, glands eradicated, and a graft.
The graft became a joke,
In that my neck started a strip of beard,
Borrowed from my chin!

Now, after some healing, the discussion commenced to radiation.
Oh, my.        Another decision.
More than a month, for every working day,
I journeyed to Sacramento--the radiation center
Of the Mercy group--Mercy?        Perhaps.

Encapsulated in a modelled, personalized upper body form,
Lying immobile, imprisoned; slowly, the pending feast of a Bar-B-Que.
As the days passed, the effect began to be manifested
In redness, rawness, and rigid muscles;
But I was still alive, perhaps now fully saved
By the additional prophylactic radiation.
Oh, and it was mentioned that, "You might lose your left beard !"

Time passed and, indeed, no beard and just bare, soft skin.
Friends showed their sympathy and compassion
But added, "Well, with half a beard, you surely will remove the opposite side?"
Now in my Third Age, without hesitation,
I blurted out with gusto,
"Of course not; I will just create a new style."

Frank Maurer 28 June 2023 1035 Hours

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