07. Sister John of the Cross

The book is Mark Salzman’s “Lying Awake”
 

Not knowing what to say during a four-
hour chemo infusion, I decided I would read
to Mom, like she once read to me. But
 

what? She only read Christian Inspiration,
and I was feeling neither, except for this slim novel
about a Carmelite nun who almost loses her faith
 

when forced to choose between God and healing.
I bought the book, but didn’t put Mom’s name in it.
It would be mine soon enough.
 

She finished chemo, well again.
I left the book with her, its final chapter unread.