The Cancer Fairy by Judith Swann

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It was a small dark body, like a mouse.

Unemployed, it still drove the car,

pushing the TV out the passenger-side door,

yellow chyme and bile the color of grass,

like the time the Ferris Wheel made the little kids cry

at the Okoboji of slow dancing

There are things you can do with music

or, as in this case, with your voice.

Dense as fudge

it pullulated with margins outside

the half a permitted millimeter

of tissue-wrapped meat.

Tender slits healed as

she cried out for corporate capital,

offed her white negligee and wig,

disinviting them from her gondola,

it and its sleeper cells, daughter cells

for whom she had, unknowingly peeled

carrots and quartered pears in the Denver

of the stockyards.

We all came to hold her hand,

the dancer, the flight attendant, the nurse,

the teacher, the librarian,

all dripping tears

silly with love, the light

shedding like a dog in August,

an old dog.

judy_swannJudy Swann is a poet, essayist, editor, translator, blogger, and bicycle commuter, whose work has been published in many venues both in print and online. Her book of letters, We Are All Well : The Letters of Nora Hall, appeared in 2014.

Image: Ferdinand Hodler, Valentine Godé-Darel one day before her death

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