When radiation failed, the wave-toothed saw
peeled back bone, revealed
the inky tumor moored
against my mother’s brain.
A ripened pear wrapped in a sheet of blood.
“We got it all,” the doctors said, leaving
in their wake ruined connections,
frayed nerves, neurons shredded
like blood red beets,
one deaf ear,
the left side of her face a rumpled ruin.
Now her world has shifted,
a cloudless sky tumbles and rolls.
Now her days turn in upon her
as she gazes each morning in broken-hearted wonder
at that divided face in the mirror.
She leans against walls to stop the spinning.
In her head,
God has chosen
to do this thing to her.