I Practice Believing My Son Has Cancer
I sit in the hospital room on a dumbly comfortable recliner,
consolation gift for the parent who finds herself
in a foul game of fighting
disease by picking poisons that might or might not make him sicker today or later, really
I’m offered a discounted lunch delivered with his free meal,
cheer the salad with salmon and blackberries, as if I’ve won a significant award.
My boy pores over his two-page paper menu with excited eyes vowing to try everything by the time he is done
in the fall, as if
that will be the bigger prize than
life past 19.
There is so much sun streaming onto my exposed neck,
wrapping itself first around idiot yellow flowers staring over my shoulder at the magazine I took from the absurdly welcoming waiting room.
Everything a flavorless joke
reminding us that life goes fucking on outside of here.
I brought a book I will neglect in a bag full of other website-suggested things,
because mothering instincts say that if I have
everything we need we will not need anything:
Not the extra soft socks or the unscented lotions or powerful sunscreens
or ginger-infused organic candies meant to quell
toxic nausea. We are
prepared and prepared and prepared