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 story
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.