the stretch bone cab hauls us fast from our swamp down a pocked rain-wetted highway to Ebenezer cemetery. We pass her yard. The cypress there stands straight, but the house she kept sags on its blocks, the weight of dying just settled in its boards. My last visit, she could still climb stairs. Her nurse gone home, I sat on the bed’s edge. Her radiation burns like Chicago, walking to the bakery on St. Paul or outside the door for a smoke. I asked what did she expect from dying? She said it’s uncomplicated; we’re like the lilacs, we odor a while then aches our burden stem.That’s chemo talking. The car stops. We’re all her students, come to learn this lesson. We brace open the hatch and draw her out of the long car.