Four clear scans

Four clear scans —a year of being cancer-free,

a medical miracle if you consider that with this particular cancer

most people don’t make it to two years.

The ability to do math in my head might have been excised and zapped

along with the tumor, but I believe

I’m a few months past two years, so…..

Four clear scans in a row should be really good news,

jumping on a trampoline good news,

howling at the crescent moon good news,

flying with the Sandhill cranes good news.

So, how come I’m not ecstatic and full of energy and hope,

bursting with ideas for new paintings and carvings?

how come I feel glum, exhausted, indistinguishable from the couch?

how come my head aches and the light glares and my eyes blur

and the sounds of a small city startle and grate upon me?

Coincident with this news is my 50-year retrospective.

Fifty years of carvings, paintings, quilts, and writing — a visual history of my life.

All of it — including two large marble carvings — moved into the university’s art gallery.

How come I’m not ecstatic to be granted a showcase for my life’s work?

How come I feel exhausted, eager to melt back into the couch,

spread out my mom’s pink quilt and beckon Shadow to melt on top of me,

purring her satisfaction with being warm and cozy as we both watch the leaves fall.

Perhaps today there is no need for a greater accomplishment than that.

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