What she didn’t see coming

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Sometimes, during dinner,

looking up from the tagine, she’d see

echoes from the pasts of her hosts.


At other times, the births

of children unconceived – tragedies

unfold in undeveloped lands,


long before the reports.

What she didn’t see coming was this:

the spread of cells to her stomach


and kidneys; serious

letters that spelled chemotherapy;

a future she couldn’t predict.