I keep an old sketch of a tiger
doodled from a magazine cover at the doctor's office.
Next to it, in my shaky handwriting,
"Specific gamma imaging,
possible tumors on left breast."
I can still conjure up the fear
that started throat high and thick as molasses
dribbled to the soles of my feet.
But nine months later
I sat in my lawn chair
next to an Oregon river,
where the midday sun
hit moss covered rocks
an afternoon tinted emerald green.
I couldn't stop my tears,
it was a release from all
the hooved work,
the climb up to every table,
listening to doctors.
And my body, this flawed machine,
has a chunk gone now --
just a little tiger bite,
I still remain, mostly whole.