A Poem for Andy – Waiting for Surgery on July 12th, 2018

Arbutus on Maple Mountain. New pale green skin showing through.


A sound so loud:
a dry leaf falling.
The ground littered
with yellow silences.
I walked here with you
once, the Arbutus grove, their leaves
dropping and their copper
peeling, the new-skin green
underneath. New skin.
How many times dear Lord
our new skin? Each
green silence?

Richard Osler, unpublished 2018

It is not often I feature a poem of mine in a blog. But I wanted to share this small poem I wrote after hearing that my dear friend Andy Parker from Houston, Texas was having kidney surgery on Thursday, July 12th to remove what is likely a cancerous tumour.

The 12th is an auspicious day in my family. My son Alex’s birthday and the birthday of my great uncle, Sir William Osler, the celebrated physcian. I hope it will turn out to be an auspicious day for Andy. A day when his full recovery begins. That new skin.

Peeling Arbutus in Montague Harbour, Galiano Island, B.C.


  1. Donna Box
    Posted July 11, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Richard, your poem took my breath away, and that made me aware I haven’t breathed since I heard the news about Andy. Thank you for putting words to the prayer I’ve been holding on to and reminding me to breathe.

  2. Richard Osler
    Posted July 11, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Dear, dear Donna: Ah, yes. Breathing. So great to hear from you. Sending much love your way on a whole bunch of breaths!

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