Long before I got sick, way back
before I had Jack, before Larry,
I wanted another part besides my own.
I wanted to crawl inside another skin,
not just to look around but be
a while – the only kind of make-believe
I could believe in. To come alive as someone else
changed everything. In high school, in The Crucible,
nobody wanted to be Abigail,
a troublemaker who danced wild in the
and never ‘fessed up. I loved that role.
I could feel the parents in their seats
that’s how good I was at being Abigail.
And ever since, I’ve loved to say her
One day at a time never made much sense
It seemed like giving in.
With a 3-year-old,
another on the way? I know a year
is made of days, but I can’t bear to say
my life might not be made of years.
This afternoon I go to Good Samaritan
to see two doctors, one for me,
the other for the one we’re calling
They’re both, of course, for both of us.
If their news is good – the baby growing,
the cancer not in sight – I’ll praise the
If not, I’m grateful for today. It is a
But when tomorrow comes, I want that too.
Soon as the first few random tufts came loose,
I wanted it all off, done with, gone.
Head bowed, I sat on a kitchen stool
while Larry buzzed the clippers back and
It fell in fistfuls. Jack climbed into my
handed me the wig, “Mommy’s new hair,”
and helped me put it on, then looked amazed.
I hugged him so he’d know I was still Mom
and so he wouldn’t see Mom’s tears.
Larry took my new round face between his
I’m fine, I said. No, fine! Really, I’m fine.
The mirror hurt: When you lose your hair,
it’s like your eyes have nowhere else to
Funny, I never knew I had a crooked nose.
Published in Tomorrow Too: The Brenda Monologues by Finishing Line Press, 2013.