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Where the Cancer Center’s New Wing Will Be


They walk into the world again—traffic, wind, siren, drilling—not
having to talk for a while after hours of one blank
room then another, until at last the surgeon knocked
and shook their hands. They watched his wand point out
lit-up, cobwebby shadows, tracing
across the screen of her chest what might
be possible to remove, what might not be. She thought,
trying to focus, of her grandmother’s crocheted laces—
the one strand she got punished for, after unraveling
its loops from the hook, wanting just to see the vanishing of a thing
made so mysteriously from almost nothing anyway. Looking
up now at the sidewalk’s end—a glimpse between scarred buildings
framing the empty space of old row houses knocked down—
blue sky. Thinning wisps of cloud, filaments of milkweed blown.  


Debra Nystrom

Blackbird

Spring 2017


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