Thursday Poem


Seventeen letters across.
Draw it on paper,
write it down. Caterpillar,
centipede. See, it moves

off the page, and
drops, a soft tractor
under leaf or tissue.
Now expand the tree,

find your terminology –
Neoplasm, Brain –
on a lower branch
crawling with information

like cells appear well-defined,
compact, and rounded.
Actually, avascular.
Macroscopically, a pinkish smear.

Imaging studies show, how
they grow outwards from
white matter into grey matter.
Chemosensitive, yes.

Median age at diagnosis,
40-50 years. Either
sex. Shave your hair.
In a week or so.

Depends on size,
location. Ordinarily, no.
She wanted everything I had
on Oligodendroglioma.

by Andrew Steinmetz
from The Fiddlehead. No. 128, Winter 2003