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After the doctors told her of the mass living in her         bones and lungs,
my friend headed straight to the salon to repair           her chipped toes.

Nights after, I stayed awake, wondering: How do       you comfort
the still-living? No pity party for me, my friend             said. Every morning

I wake is a victory. Around her new schedule of           scans and protocols,
she focused on al fresco lunches and friends,               extended weekends

with grandkids. For winter she bought herself a            red wig and birdseed;
praised the greedy goldfinch feasting at her                feeder, her landscape

brightened with new snow. And when April                  brought rain, she saw only
cheery blossoms and clearing skies. She lauded          July's evening heat, ripe

garden tomatoes, the way fireflies rose in pair s            from her lawn. Seasons
transitioned to meals at home, to evenings of card        games and Dancing

with the Stars. She called friends daily to say, I'm        still here. Once
she confided how she loved the way cure came at        the end

of pedicure. I know it's silly, but fresh red nails            can almost cure
the blues. Her pedicurist made weekly house calls,        brought rosy

gossip and a rainbow box of polish. Four months         now since her last
pedicure, since we all wore ribbons of red.                 Sometimes it's okay

to ignore our daily wreckage. Some days it's just         about salvage,
it's about how we fix the things that can be fixed.

published in Snapdragon Journal, Spring 2018

Gail Braune Comorat is a founding member of Rehoboth Beach Writers' Guild, and the author of Phases of the Moon (Finishing Line Press). Her work has appeared in Gargoyle, Grist, and Mudfish.

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