After Chemo

Tracy Rice Weber
Featured image: after pie © A. Anupama 2019

 

Certain subjects I avoid: plans that reach
beyond our arms’ length, for instance.

Her head is wrapped like a present,
a pink bow above the ghost of her left brow.

We are here for sandwiches: fresh bread,
carrot juice, spinach smoothies—
organic. Our words step over

sidewalk cracks like the rhyme
we said in school. Before
we might have complained about gray

roots or sagging breasts, clueless
partners, empty nests. Today we
exchange bird stories: how

one was trapped, despite the screen door
propped open. How she worked—

climbing on a rickety table, a rocking
chair, to pluck a wren from

the eaves of her porch, release it
into a heavy August sky.