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by Shawn Aveningo

you're such a tease.
You dangled that carrot of hope
before my best friend's nose,
and we believed.
We believed
she had beaten the odds.
We believed
she had broken the seal
of her fate to walk in the footsteps
of aunts before her.
We believed
in you.
you were supposed to be
a stepping stone to survival,
not a stone cold lover who
spat in her face.
we set the table for your arrival,
obeying every rule of Ms. Post,
forks to the left of a plate full of chemo,
a goblet of radiation next to the water glass,
a solemn prayer spoken in hopes
this repast not her last.
we welcomed you with open arms
into our house
into our heart.
You taught us to play chess,
recognize the power of the pawn,
the folly of starry eyed knights,
to care for a queen.
And then you made your move,
you are quite the player.

Shawn Aveningo lives in Rescue, California with her husband of 22 years and 3 teenage children. The poem "Remission" is especially close to her heart as it expresses her struggle helping her best friend, Pam, through years of Ovarian Cancer. Shawn's poetry has also appeared in publications such as Rattlesnake Review, Medusa's Kitchen, and PoetryNow and she hopes to soon be publishing her own book of poems. She can be reached via email at poeticallyurs@yahoo.com.