After the Verdict by Jennifer Lagier

Mom has been on the table
only an hour and a half when
the surgeon and her assistant
pull us out of the waiting room.
Both are in tears.
Cancer everywhere, inoperable.
They will close her up,
send her back to her room.
Work out a plan to keep
her pain-free.

She takes the news stoically.
Says she knew already,
expected the worse.
Tells me to be sure the
health insurance company
issues a refund.
Dictates a simple funeral,
no more than 90 minutes
for a public viewing.

Her final demand:
Forget saying the rosary.
“Make sure they don’t
make me up like
a damned Kewpie doll.”


Jennifer Lagier has published thirteen books, taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium readings. Newest books: Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle Press). Forthcoming: Like a B Movie (FutureCycle Press, 2018). Website: Facebook:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s