Her first day visiting the island,
my husband’s mother tells me
the body remembers everything.
If this is true, what

was delivered from me
this spring, wrapped in that cyst,
the size of a newborn?

For weeks now, clumps of hair
pulling loose each shower. The dread
of brushing my hair.
Anaesthesia’s toll.

After a late supper,
my mother-in-law gazes
at the cows from our kitchen window.

Her chemo done. No wig. Elegant,
as though pared down to bedrock.
The cows as curious of us
as we are of them. New growth,

new growth. And the terrible play
of light and dark. The island
at dusk. Her face

mirrored in the window. The cows
leaning closer, pressing
broad, black noses against the glass,
then wandering away into gorse-lit fields.