The Best and Happiest Moments: A poem by Cameron Morse

By Cameron Morse


The Best and Happiest Moments

Poetry is a record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.

                                                —Percy Bysshe Shelly

Midnights when my mattress drifts,
and the grandfather clock tolls out of his

oaken hollow, I call you Nightingale.
You, who sat in the dark and sang,

died at 29 and here I am the same age,
reading your Defence, defenseless,

in my third October since diagnosis.
I have followed every recommendation—

from chemo to radio beams—but still
feel my footsteps like those of a wind
over the sea, the Gulf of La Spezia,
perhaps, or the gulf between us,

between drowning, swallowed in seaweed,
and taking Temodar. Still I, too, have lived

by the sea. I have seen linen clouds billowing
on the clothesline. I have smelt the salt

sea air. I, too, have made recordings.

Cameron Morse taught and studied in China. Diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2014, he is currently a third-year MFA candidate at UMKC and lives with his wife, Lili, in Blue Springs, Missouri. His poems have been or will be published in over 30 different magazines, including The New Territory, pamplemousse, Two Words For and TYPO.


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