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Back to Work After the Diagnosis

by Lisa Marie Brodsky

When I found out Mom had lung cancer
I also lost my job due to my
But today I return to the workforce,
the first time I will go somewhere new
with the knowledge of black masses,
of clumps of hair on the bathroom floor.
I cannot let my mother infiltrate
my professional life. I have to walk in
as though I have no personal concerns.

In the cubicle behind me sits a mother
whose teenager plays tuba in band.
The Mother next to me has swollen breasts
from her newborn who, at home, searches
for her father’s nipples.
I hear that diagonal from me sits a mother
with a daughter at Yale, studying
Psychology and Art History.

On my lunch break, my boss introduces me
to three more women, all daughters, their
mothers spread out across the country.
You are all here, I think to myself.
The revolutionaries have come, disguised,
to help me get through these days.


Posted on 04/04/2006
Copyright © 2022 Lisa Marie Brodsky

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