Sunday, July 10, 2016

How many sets of wings?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland
located at the base of the neck.

We're twelve days post-nodule biopsy, 
three days into my husband's malignant thyroid results.
Papillary carcinoma,

Our little family is reeling, laughing, and crying 
at the meaningless absurdity of this next lottery winning.
And we stick to the act of being a family,
which is something I think we do best.

This girl, how she cheers me. 
How we love simply being.
Even when we're both a little panicked and definitely scared.

During Saturday's breakfast at 2 p.m., 
I read to her from David Foster Wallace's
This is Water,
and then we drove up Mapleton Canyon listening to film scores 
all the way to Whiting campground 
and the trailhead to Spanish Fork Peak;
the first peak of seven that I climbed
three summers back.

She was with me when I first scouted the trail,
I'm thinking about a repeat of this mountain before I tackle
Lone Peak,
the last.

On our way back home we spotted a Monarch butterfly.
We've frequented ditch banks and milkweed patches
a number of times earlier this summer
hunting for larva.
And here, out of the blue,
when we weren't searching,
those brilliant orange wings
amongst the birch trees.

I wonder how many times 
a person can sprout buds
and metamorphose
before the gift of flight is no longer dependent on wings. 

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