The Matter

by Patricia Reynolds Sorbye

Sitting on the examination table
In the tiny room,
As you sketch my body parts and describe the necessary treatment
Family looking on—four extra pairs of eyes, four additional minds
—still as tombstones in rabbit season.

I drift along your words in disbelief
How can this be the way it ends
With so many more imaginative scenarios in the offing
—contemplated over a lifetime.

I zoom in again, to your kind, even tone—the soft redness of your hair
And the matter of your fact.

But you know, this is not my story of goodbye,
But a strengthening—
A honing of my best skills, refining of tools.

Your voice goes on, my head feels light
And the breathing of my family drains the room, breath by breath
Of nourishing oxygen

I’ll agree to what you offer
I know that
This is not the door by which I will leave.

Now, how it happens:
This body needs a brief, meaningful tour
Through your operating theater—
I’ll go along, and we’ll do well together

But know that this is nothing more than an exercise
In advanced living
The course requirements become more challenging
With experience.
It’s meant to improve my quality—
And it won’t be the least bit boring
If I pay attention.

Patricia’s bio:
In the summer of 2008, Patricia Reynolds Sorbye was diagnosed with breast cancer, resulting in a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation. Patricia credits hypnotherapy with making the experience easier than it might have been otherwise. Currently cancer-free, she is a Certified Hypnotherapist, living and practicing in Oakland, California. Patricia’s website is Watervox Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy,