Radiation has done its magic for now—my flesh,
fallow ground, not hard like winter’s soil,
but barren like earth salted and unsuitable
for planting no matter how the rains come.
Hugo placed what was left of my right
breast into precise position,
the meeting point of at least two lasers for targeted
treatment. I felt his fingers on my skin
as he apologized for having to touch me—
I was keenly aware that his hand might
be the last to have reason or interest;
then I turned my head and closed my eyes.
I can’t remember, in the “Parable of the Sower,” if birds
devour the seeds that fall on stony ground?
Ellen June Wright was born in England and currently lives in New Jersey. She has consulted on guides for three PBS poetry series. Her work was selected as The Missouri Review’s Poem of the Week in June 2021, and she recently received five 2021 Pushcart Prize nominations.