She was bald

her hair radiated away,

She wore a wig.

She always wanted curly hair—

the cancer gave that to her.

She had a beer belly

that would sag,

while she spoke in front of a large audience in a booming voice—

then she took questions. I asked her one, once

and she shouted me down

because she didn’t know the answer.

There was no husband

no family

only her job

as she became

more sickly

more skinny

She dropped 12 dress sizes, even though, she never wore a dress

Her pant-suits drooped.

I met her in the hallway

and she recognized my face

We’ve never talked

“I’m going to die,” she said.

“Me too.”

“No, I’m going to die at the end of the month.”

“Why are you here then?” I asked.

“Because they need me here.”

“I understand.”

Then, she walked away.

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