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by Terry Godbey

The last time I stared at a sonogram 
screen, my husband held my hand.
We watched the flickers of our son's 
heartbeat, admired his runner's legs
that kept me awake at night. 
Now that boy suffers 
in high school geometry
and I'm pained to see a long needle
traverse my left breast.
The surgeon retrieves four corkscrews
of tissue that will tell my fortune. 
On the fifth expedition, she plants
a stainless steel marker.
No one holds my hand.
My son learns about 
isosceles triangles,
the rhombus
while I wait
for the phone to ring. 
We both dread our test results.
My breast turns violet,
antifreeze green,
and every step I take, each jiggle, 
starts the throb. The seat belt, 
bumpy brick roads
near my home are agony.
No hugs, I tell him.   
Huddled over homework, 
protractor in hand,
he studies angles and lines,
mumbles numbers.
I, too, have much to measure,
starting with 
the shortest distance
between here 
and there.

"Homework" was published in the anthology, Sun-Struck Matches, 2013.

Terry Godbey's latest poetry book, Hold Still, about her breast cancer battle, was published in 2014. "Homework," written while she and her son waited for her biopsy results in 2010, is the first poem in the collection. Her other poetry collections are Flame, Beauty Lessons and Behind Every Door. Terry recently fell in love with photography and will combine the two art forms in her next project. See more of her work at www.terrygodbey.com.