Joan Canby

Once a lover of luster, the smiling clamor of fame.

Once a coveter for a platter of gold, the scoop

of adoration and for the stanchion statue to possible glory,

until left to find a place where a wooden join will fit

a frame. She found living single a simple reward after

surviving war and her besieged city. She saw the offered

hand of trust stopping her sleep-depriving pain,

her boundless fathom of grief then a common tumor

lodged between kneecap and ankle.

With the tender word “honey,”

a welcomed embrace,

a clasp of her hand before

the surgeon’s knife removed her leg,

her lesson began.

Later, listening to the civil war surviving nurses

in her shelter, singing in harmony their chorus of graces,

she watched them weave

between her West and their South,

a world far from starvation,


“Receive soul’s shade,” she’s told,

“then serve.”

Joan Canby is a native Californian who came to Texas to work first in the F-16 program at General Dynamics in Fort Worth then later in the Telecommunications industry for L.M. Ericsson and Nortel Networks in Richardson.  She is retired and lives in Garland.

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