Cheeks red with hives, alone
in bed, she knows she’s fucked,
turns away, cries. She hopes
doctors won’t steal her spirit
as they drain fluid from lungs,
inject six drugs to poison
ten tumors taking over
what remains of her brain.
Allow her the strength
to leave pain behind, soak in
morning sun, hike the Cascades.
Pitch tent, build fire,
in moonlight, sit astride lover,
dream back bear lily, paintbrush,
lupine. Wake to lightning,
run naked, spin. Lift head, tearless,
face raw wind. Spread arms, lift chin,
embrace the coming storm.
Timothy Pilgrim, a Pacific Northwest poet and Pushcart Prize nominee in 2018, has several hundred acceptances from journals like Seattle Review, Toasted Cheese, Third Wednesday, Windsor Review, Mad Swirl, Sleet, San Pedro River Review and Hobart. He is author of Mapping Water (Flying Trout Press, 2016).