by Anna Sorensen



by Sarah Bigham

Among the boxwood

Dichotomies abound in a
Reverent greenscape hugged
By an interstate’s beating pulse
Traveling past the lost

Yarmulked and bare-headed
Stubbled and smooth
Dark clothes of mourning
Amongst shades of light blue

Tears from the Kaddish absorb the
Laughter of small children
Playing amongst granite slabs
Beyond the hedge

Sunbeams through crimson
Leaves helicoptering down to
Stone benches in shade for those
Farther from the womb

Honored earth, more piled to
Allow all the love to flow
Through the rending and recitations
On a beautiful day of grief

May the small stones of
Many hearts
In the garden of Solomon
Be a blessing tonight


What they said

There would be 4-6 punctures.
I wear 23 scars on my hips.

Your family will join you after surgery, and you will sit on sandbags while reading or watching videos before being released.
There were no sandbags. My family was nowhere in sight, waiting elsewhere in the cavernous hospital for word that came only after my sobs summoned someone in scrubs. I thought I would die on my way to the restroom. Thank god for the orderly’s arm. Perhaps one life had to be sacrificed for another.

Removing the enormous bandage would be the most painful part.
It was the easiest. And caused no pain. I followed their instructions to soak it in the shower before pulling it off. The movement, not the ripping, added tears to the water streaming down my thighs.

There might be some discomfort.
Over a decade later I still go to PT. And massage. And acupuncture. And more. On my dime.

Some donors notice bruising for several days.
My backside was covered in seeping, expanding purple, yellow, and green. For weeks on end.

Take it easy and get some sleep afterwards.
Rolling over in bed caused excruciating, nauseating pain.

Plan to take a few days off of work.
I was out much longer. And threw up in the hallway bathroom on my first day back. Walking down the stairs caused jolting pain and fatigue that forced me to sit down awkwardly on one of the treads, as a senior colleague told me sanctimoniously that regardless of whatever seemed to be happening with me, he hoped to receive a call from the registry.

You will be able to resume your normal activities within a week.
I have never run again.