Monday, March 4, 2013

Yoga Lesson

Here is a poem that is published in Ars Medica, Spring 2012, Vol. 8, No. 2

This is the finished version published in 2012 in Ars Medica

Yoga Lesson

Patricia L. Johnson

We are not friends, although good neighbours.
She’s asked me to teach her some poses

to help soothe tight tissues, gently stretch sore
muscles that burn since cancer took one breast.

She comes out of the downward pose, raises
her exercise shirt above her waist.

She faces close in her secure manner
irises afire with sienna and black specks,

gathers the fabric of the T-shirt, pulls
it over shoulders, over her strong-muscled torso.

Her expression softens, “See how good
they made it look?” I look at firm sleek skin,

at the reconstruction. The perfectly matched
weight of the form of the replacement breast

rounds believably beneath her skin.
I wonder at the lack of exposed scars,

the perfect placement of her nipple.
When I can speak I tell her, "You are beautiful."

No change in her face, she places her hands
on the mat, returns to Savanasana.

Her arms and legs hold the inverted-V posture.
She is content with her command of pose.

There is nothing I might say
that could replace the pliancy and contour

of nature’s milky glands;
but what I told her was the truth.

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