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April 23 —
Today, Lucius turns nine.

Nine years ago, a ringing phone
woke me in the early morning dark
and my brother told me the happy news
about his son’s birth.

Later that day, my family
joined in a Kidney Walk fundraiser,
my 10-year-old daughter proudly wearing the sign:
Today is the 4th anniversary of my kidney transplant.

She was strawberries and cream
amidst the pink dogwood blooms.

We were relief and jubilation.

April 30 —
Nine years ago, a routine chest x-ray
of my daughter showed her lungs
full of dark blooms.

May 11 —
My birthday.
Nine years ago, I packed bags
for me and my daughter,
her being admitted to the hospital
for a lung biopsy.

May 13 —
Mother’s Day.
Nine years ago, my tiny, sweet, resilient daughter,
who carried a torso already striped with scars,
was diagnosed with lymphoma.

Every Spring Since —
Like everyone, I watch for signs
from the living things around
that it is time again to bud, grow,
display what has been hidden inside,
unseen but waiting.

I watch my radiant daughter
and pray, again, please, this year,
that every reveal hold promise
and unspoiled beauty.

April 2015
Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 23

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Today, Birthdays, Holidays, and Anniversaries

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