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Nothing New Under the Sun

by Charlotte Matthews

What I want back are not my breasts,
though they were the exact ones I would
have chosen in the breast shop.
Brenda died, and she was diagnosed after me.
Her daughter is my daughter's age and when we pass
in the hallways of their school, we both look the other way.
Loren's gone too. We'd sat in lazy boys together
in the chemo lab, and she'd laugh when I told the nurse
today was not a good one to put that needle in my arm.
The quail in orchard was louder last night
and so I forgot to worry for a good long time.
The one requirement for being found is being lost.
The sun is a common, mid-sized, yellow star.
What I want back is my mother's voice in the morning,
still in shadows, or the moon blanching the sycamore,
the way it doesn't seem to recognize tumult at all.

Author of two poetry collections, Green Stars and Still Enough To Be Dreaming, Charlotte Matthews has just finished a collection about her experience as a stage 3 breast cancer patient. She lives with her husband and children in Charlottesville, Virginia, and teaches at the University of Virginia.