The physician’s assistant says

as she clicks the mouse

as she stares at the blue screen

oh he’ll want to resume chemo

and we are torn

between chemo, side effects,

the new immunotherapies


an emptiness

perhaps sooner, or rather later

and the oncologist says

it’s change, it’s what we’ve expected,

from .05 to .20,

you’ve done no maintenance

to keep it down and we counter with

he’s healed his broken bones,

not built up resistance to the drugs

and the oncologist says

we’ll do another test

so I ask him about his Thanksgiving,

wanting him to pause, wanting him not to vanish

behind a closing door and he says

he is cooking, two cranberry sauces so far,

one with chutney and I say I prefer to add orange.

Does he see beyond our unchanging expressions

the bomb he has lobbed

into our lives

exploding, as we try to think

what more to ask before he shuts the door

as we sit and look at him

as he looks at the screen

as his hand, each time, clicks the mouse,

moves the mouse, searching?

Meg Lindsay, who has an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, was a semi-finalist in two "Discovery"/The Nation Contests and a finalist in an Inkwell competition. She has poems published in Light, Tricycle, Pivot, Salamander, Alimentum, Connecticut River Review, among others, and is also an established painter showing for decades in galleries and museums. Her chapbook about the process and emotions of painting titled A Painter’s Night Journal was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016. The subject of her writing dramatically changed direction when her husband, an athlete, collapsed with bone cancer in 2016.