The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Tears with my tea

Rachael Conlin Levy
September afternoon, Seattle.

Long ago my father and I drove the old Chevy pick-up into mountains burned by wildfire. For hours he’d cut and I’d haul the logs, my ears ringing from the whine of chainsaw, my arms aching from carrying blackened wood. At the end of the day, I lay down in the scorched field and watched puffy white clouds blow across the sky.

Faraway in a forest sits the wide trunk of an ancient tree, and from inside this trunk grows a smaller, younger tree, pulling its energy and life from the decaying stump.

Once upon a time a cell smaller than a seed burrowed into my father, took root and grew into a miniature version of the corpse flower, which now blooms in his right lung and has been given a name, cancer.

Yesterday it rained inside the trees. I stood under the branches and drops hit my head and I listened to the patter of water on leaves, but when I walked out from under the trees and into the street, it wasn’t raining. All around me I heard water falling, but not where I stood in open space, under a heavy sky.

3 responses to “Tears with my tea”

  1. Rachael. I'm not believing this.

  2. chelsey says:

    I'm so sorry he is sick. I hope that the surgeon says that he will be able to remove it completely.

  3. Andrea says:

    Oh I'm so sorry.

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