After I am still in…

After

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.

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