I am still in the midst of during

still three weeks ’til the end of chemo,

then surgery, then radiation, then

a year of follow-up hormones

one step at a time — and yet


some part of my brain thinks

this thing beaten, or at least

beaten enough to start planning

not forever, not even in decades

just the next five years


the odds are excellent for those

at least, and so I sign up for

drawing classes, pull out the

pencils and charcoal, the supplies

purchased long ago, neglected


start looking for a language

tutor; maybe now that the

children are older, there will

be time to finally study the lost

home language properly


maybe there will be time

to pass it on to them. no

guarantees but in this

moment I cannot bear

to imagine drifting through


whatever life remains

now, in the midst of during

I try to shape after

stuffing it full of the stuff

of life.