Tammy Tillotson

MY HEART MISSING

Over dinner we're discussing
the unknown
cancer, its effects
radiation treatments
Reiki—i's—keys—
windows—locking doors.

Daring lightning
we're three comparing
views
spiritual healers, medical doctors
what we don't know
what they don't.

Dainty, studded, solid gold,
cultured pearls at lobes,
Billie believes, hopes, she will go
first, though her husband will be lost.
I nod, "I hope you know,
you may not get the final vote."

Both laughing, then I notice
a silver backing—missing—
from tigers' eyes
neatly inside
shut up
in her jewelry box.
My sister isn't
the slightest bit worried—
she finds religion odd.
Confused,
her point, she clarifies,
"I don't pray to God."

Billie bows her head
stares at her plate,
smiles, "My, this is so colorful, so pretty."
Yet I can't seem to get beyond
the heaping pile
of slick, red pickled beets.

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