10-Line Tuesday

December 18, 2012

two down, four to go
for Gail

Surely, she is made of something beyond the body, horizon line
unwavering past a sea of misbehaving cells.
I do not know her strength, exactly, only that at the same time
the first chemical feed tube went in she was already coming up with ways
to tell the story differently, shaving her dreadlocks to lay herself bare
for her unwelcome guest. “Kanswer,” she calls it, meeting its unwieldy, fibrous
question with a steady nod, even when it’s vitriol she wants to spew or call out “Liar!”
But no. “Two down, four to go,” she writes instead from a chair at the doctor’s office;
these words uncurl an ammunition and the gnawing fear briefly sours.
She is a thousand times alone, but her courage makes the battle ours.