Yardwork

by Vivian Wagner

He carefully sliced the cancer from my skin,
one thin piece after another, finally extracting
the last bit of hardy weedroot.
If my face is a garden, it’s a strange one,
pocked and hilly, various in its shapes
and sections, unkempt and unpredictable.
In the end, though, he stretched the skin
over the hole and stitched up the suture.
He held up a mirror for me to see the tiny,
even stitches, and they seemed not so much a
surgeon’s work as that of secretive, midnight fairies
intent on making a faint but sturdy path through
planted lilies and unplanned dandelions alike,
on mapping a trail they might or might not take.


Vivian Wagner
is an associate professor of English at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. She’s the author of a memoir, Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music (Citadel Kensington), and a poetry collection, The Village (Kelsay Books). For more information, visit her website at www.vivianwagner.net, or follow her on Twitter, @vwagner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s