The Maynard
Spring 2016

B.J. Best

the clinic printed off a calendar (radiation, day 23)

when we were first given this crate of days,
we wondered what miseries would hatch:
blisters, a bitchin’ sunburn, a scratch
so itchy even steel wool wouldn’t faze.

but mostly it’s a penance of appointments,
the clouds grudgingly grinding toward spring.
the sun’s radiation whispers it won’t bring
anything that can’t be soothed by her ointments.

so, each day, she takes a green highlighter,
slashes from top-right to bottom-left,
waiting for time like rising sap to release her.

it’s like she’s sowing a song even skywriters
could hear: that verdant, that bursting, that treble-cleffed:
she’ll be cancer-free three days before easter.