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We went to Leeds for a second opinion.
After her name was called,
I waited among the apparently well
And those with bandaged eyes and dark spectacles.
A heavy mother shuffled with bad feet
And a stick, a pad over one eye,
Leaving her children warned in their seats.
The minutes went by like a winter.
They called me in. What moment worse
Than that young doctor trying to explain
“It’s large and growing.” “What is?” “Malignancy.”
“Why there? She’s and artist.”
He shrugged and said, “Nobody knows.”
He warned me it might spread. “Spread?”
My body ached to suffer like her twin
And touch the cure with lips and healing sesames.
No image, no straw to support me – nothing
To hear or see. No leaves rustling in sunlight.
Only the mind sliding against events
And the antiseptic whiff of destiny.
Professional anxiety –
His hand on my shoulder
Showing me to the door, a scent of soap.
Medical fingers, and his wedding ring.