Suburban Cancer
by Nathanael O'Reilly


When the neighborhood kids
wrapped the Live Oak
on my next-door-neighbor’s
front lawn in toilet paper
late on Saturday night,
did they know she
was inside her house
fighting a cancer
trying to kill her?
Did they know she
has barely stepped outside
in months, that the affluent
exterior of her home masks
the tragedy of a newly wed
young woman wrestling
with the angel of death?






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