Brief Fanfare for the Ordinary

I never thought I’d live to say it, but here it is: It’s my daughter’s first day of senior year.

Cancer has now been my companion for over five years. It’s been an unwelcome visitor, a deadly ghost, an iron wheel turning under the street. And yet my daughter lives, I live, my husband lives—and this first day back at school is a sword in hope’s stone. We claim it, it is ours.

There will be no trumpets. A few screens will go black. We’ll look at the grass, finches will twitch, and the train calls will continue until dawn.

But eventually the fog will clear and in friendship with the scrub jays and bright red zinnias I get to say: I’m in remission, my daughter’s back at school, nothing in this can sway.

Who? asks the owl.

You, says the ground.

For today.