Reprieve



Jeffrey Harrison

And then the tumor was gone,
not visible at all on the brain scan,
though the doctor pointed to some cloudy places
that showed where the damage had been done.

Still, it seemed a miracle almost,
this reprieve, and all of us
took a breath, though we silently wondered
how long it would last.

He got well enough to walk again
unaided, to take a shower on his own,
even to drive a car, to use a weed-wacker
and feed the horses in the barn.

I wonder if it felt like an afterlife,
those three months before the cancer came back,
as he drove his Jeep past the lake
and across the bridge over the creek.