We get used to trash along the road 
or don’t even have to get used to it 
but then some kids put their beer cans 
on the tips of small trees trying to come up. 
Little star. Now I know the cancer 
is in my body and always will be. 
Still, we can convince ourselves 
of anything. When Bea wants to play, 
that’s what I do. She gets under the covers 
and pretends to be part of my body. 
We tell her daddy she’s gone, 
but she’s right there. I say 
this is just me.

Copyright © 2022 by Elizabeth Barnett. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 16, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.