Living Poet

Betty Louise Mclane-Iles


Entreat me not to leave you
though i am far away
my soul is in your heart

i am not a stranger
though we’ve lived too long and lost too many moments of hard-lived lives
away from each other
in separate parts of the same world
midway over a continent

i waver between your will
and my own
i hover inside my own shadows at times drowning in the absence
of certainty
or eclipsed by yours

would that I had heard once more your voice
before you were seized by the horror of
infection   that my life had not carried on
while you moved further into pain

We are loners    sisters bereft of
Parents   aging separately, unwillingly,
But our souls guard each other   
May have been brief diversions
From the paths
From the aspirations
From the duties
We had set on   
For ourselves
For our loves
For our dreams we half realized
If only in our minds
If only incompletely
In our hearts

Entreat me not to leave you
I cannot bear the world without you
Let my joy of an invisible embrace
Help you win the battle

And bring you back
Against pain
Against the cancer
Against the oblivion

Betty Louise Mclane-Iles
Kirkwood, Missouri
BETTY McLANE-ILES, 58, Kirksville, Missouri, professor of French at Truman State University, wrote this poem to her sister was dying from cancer. Betty is married to a British historian and politician. Betty's first novel “Dieppe Crossing” was published shortly before her sister, Diana Rohler, was taken off life support. Diana was employed by Morgan Stanley, but her passion was volunteer work with the Full Belly Project, mission of which is to design and distribute income-generating agricultural devices to improve lives in developing countries. Betty McLane-Iles won a 2008 Honor Scroll Award for her poem “The Debt.”