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Thinks & Inks

By @astrid_hartman

Ten Minute Phone Call

She’s been placed on hospice 

“When? When did you find out?” 

Tuesday, we got the results on Tuesday.

The cancer has spread 

E V E R Y W H E R E 

Lungs 

Kidney 

Colon 

Stomach 

I swallow,

Looking at myself 

In the bathroom mirror,

Fighting back tears.

“How long does she have?” 

She only has a few weeks to live 

………

I only have fifteen minutes 

To get ready for work 

But I keep crying 

All of my makeup off 

How can I go to work 

When I feel so sad inside,

How can I go up to a table,

Put a smile on my face

And act like everything is okay 

When it’s not 

But I swallow,

Grit my jaw

And apply the rest of my makeup,

Get my uniform on 

Grab my apron 

And drive to work

As I open the door to the restaurant,

I slip my invisible mask on,

Tucking my sadness 

Into a secret compartment of my heart,

Locking it away 

Until I can pull it out later,

Suppressing it,

Ignoring it,

Hoping in vain

That it will somehow go away 

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