And So It Begins Again, a poem by Doug Stanfield at

Saying Goodbye


And So It Begins Again

written by: Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay)



And so it begins, again,
that urge to shrink from
the cool touch of machines;
the hushed offices,
the looks of concern,
the competent compassion.

Maddening, imprecise precision–
“the blood test found something, we
need to do more tests…..
something’s there
on her scans…”
a blurry, thicker patch there,
spots on bone, lung, breast, too.
Interesting words,
“a few places lit up,”
that shouldn’t have,
like flying at night over
isolated ranches
in Wyoming, aglow
in the darkness below
with a deceptive warmth.

The needles
and knives,
the gowns,
sensors, drips, monitors,
paper and plastic–
the whole enveloping system,
circling, probing, injecting,
sampling, testing, tasting
a body for disease
like a benevolent, curious,
implacable octopus,
Sorting unknowns from the known,
translating the chemistry
of death and life
into columns of numbers,
leaving it to others to
understand, to face
the ugly chasm between,
where we wait,
naked and afraid, to
learn how it will be to

Or not.
And so it begins.

Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay)

Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay)

“Hemmingplay,” is the pen name of Doug Stanfield, who grew up on a family farm in western Ohio, went with his parents for two years in Karachi, Pakistan, in high school and had lived, until recently, in Bellefonte, PA with his late wife, Wilda and their two sons, Ben and John. Doug was a writer, editor and director of internet communications at Penn State for 26 years. He has had a few disreputable occupations, including newspaper reporter and editor, and public relations flak, but is trying to make amends for his sins by writing poetry and fiction.
When his sons were safely off making their own mistakes, he turned on the computer one day, stared at the screen for what seemed a long time, and began to learn the craft anew at age 67.
Doug has published three books so far: "Mermaid Sisters: First Dive", a children's book on iTunes/iBook; "I Came From A Place of Fireflies" published as a paperback and Kindle on Amazon, and a new book of poetry, "Snowflakes & Ashes: Meditations on the Temporary”, available as both an ebook and as a paperback. (Gatekeeper Press) on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Ingram and Baker & Taylor, and a few others.)
Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay)

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This publication is part 8 of 20 in the series Saying Goodbye