The Cancer Patient Dreams

by Charlotte Matthews

This is the underside of the world
delicate and transparent as ice,
as maple leaves red as heat,
the very ones she raked this morning,
the ones strewn all over the yard,
so the made piles rattle
the exact moment
the train goes by, carrying coal
from the mountains eastward.
She turns and goes inside,
sweeps her room in the dark,
hoping for an alchemist,
someone to change lead into gold.

Author of two full length collections, Still Enough to Be Dreaming and Green Stars (both Iris Press), CHARLOTTE MATTHEWS’ Whistle What Can’t Be Said is forthcoming from Unicorn Press. Recently her work has appeared in such journals as American Poetry Review, The Mississippi Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Ecotone. Her honors include fellowships from The Chatauqua Institute, The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and The Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Currently she teaches writing in The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Program at The University of Virginia.