Biopsy Results in Ten Days by Cynthia Bernard
I want these days to be about more than just waiting, but how can they be? Waiting surrounds me, engulfs me, pours into my throat, floods me… spit it out, more comes in, swirling, fast, faster than I can dog-paddle away… chew and swallow, digest, but there’s more and more and more… Be here now they say, but waiting shadows everything, overshadows, devours, sucks dry every moment, blocks the sunshine, even first-day-after-a-storm sunshine, washes over everything, casting a grey film, a sticky putrid grey film, over it all.
What if haunts everything, even when unspoken, perhaps more since unspoken; things will never be the same again, even if, even if, even if…
Things will never be the same again, even if the white coats say all is well, even if what I’m awaiting turns out to be snip-snip-and-it’s-gone. The portal to a someday terminal diagnosis has been smashed open, the hinges smithereened, it’s uncloseable now, so even if this waiting, these days of waiting, turn out to be a preview, I’ve caught a whiff that so permeated my nostrils my neural pathways my brain my heart, its remnants echo into the rest of whatever part of not-forever that I do get to see.
Cynthia Bernard is a woman in her late sixties who is finding her voice as a poet after many years of silence. A long-time classroom teacher and a spiritual mentor, she lives and writes on a hill overlooking the ocean, about 25 miles south of San Francisco.