HOMEWORKby Terry Godbey
screen, my husband held my hand.
We watched the flickers of our son’s
heartbeat, admired his runner’s legs
that kept me awake at night.
Now that boy suffers
in high school geometry
and I’m pained to see a long needle
traverse my left breast.
The surgeon retrieves four corkscrews
of tissue that will tell my fortune.
On the fifth expedition, she plants
a stainless steel marker.
No one holds my hand.
My son learns about
while I wait
for the phone to ring.
We both dread our test results.
My breast turns violet,
and every step I take, each jiggle,
starts the throb. The seat belt,
bumpy brick roads
near my home are agony.
No hugs, I tell him.
Huddled over homework,
protractor in hand,
he studies angles and lines,
I, too, have much to measure,
the shortest distance
Terry Godbey’s latest book, Hold Still, was published in 2014. Her other poetry collections are Flame; Beauty Lessons, winner of the Quercus Review Poetry Series Annual Book Award; and Behind Every Door, winner of Slipstream’s Annual Poetry Chapbook Award. A winner of the Rita Dove Poetry Award, she has published more than 130 poems in literary magazines including Poet Lore, Rattle, Slipstream, CALYX, and Harpur Palate. Terry is equally adept at photography, her new love; the cover of Hold Still is one of her photos. See more of her work on her website, Terry Godbey.