The Oncologist



Carole Stone

Do you have an appetite? No.
Are you anxious? Yes.
Irritable? Yes.
I hand in the questionnaire.

Instantly, a woman calls my name.
“You know we have counseling,”
she says cheerily. I nod.
“And a writing group.

Would you like to join?”
I imagine an unsharpened pencil,
and a blank page,
tell her, no. Is this denial?

“Nothing to say,” I tell her,
looking into her stranger’s eyes.