Two Poems

Making Plans

Cocooned in sheets, she clings

to Caribbean dreams of topaz water

and white sand, calypso music

and fruity drinks with umbrellas.

Ever the pragmatist, I pull her

from spindrift with urgency of agenda.

All week she’s eyed the calendar’s

red circle like a dog unwilling

to step outside, front legs stiff,

claws dug into shag. If I never

go to the doctor, she reasons,

he can’t tell me anything’s wrong.

Knowing how hope fuels her engine,

I dangle promises of Virginia Beach,

a stroll along its boardwalk, languorous

stretch beneath a plump sun lolling

in endless sky. Push her out the door

with assurances that nothing will be amiss,

belief as certain as our weekend plans,

the ones we will completely forget

in a few short hours.

The Sweetest Lie

It didn’t come up at all today—

her cancer,

the way its tentacles

snake through the weave of her life.

I once worried its shadow

would swallow

every bright moment

like shiny baubles stuffed in a sack,

but now and then

sunlight burns through