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Some Assembly May Be Required by Laura LeHew

Some Assembly May Be Required

by Laura LeHew

published in The Fem 2016

you are in denial

your eyes are hyacinth red

you page through your daughter’s wedding album

you flood 1,000 lakes with tears

you lie

& you say it’s about her


you buy a kayak

you buy an oar but

not a lifejacket not a helmet

ask who wants to look through this with me

one more time you fear

you might have missed something

you could have missed anything

you lost your house after your heart


but now

submerged you ask & you ask & you ask

why not you

& already there is so much water

in the binder the hospital gave you to navigate around

your husband &

you get a purple caregiver ribbon—pin it on your long sleeve

shirt you are so cold—your

friends all come to visit you crash into end-stage

you become proficient at chemo-day valet parking

at first you thought you would be the one to go

you confess your grief

you dry your eyes

hop up to make lasagna

his favorite

your husband suddenly has been diagnosed—

esophageal cancer and you

you wish you could remember if

you could swim

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