Precarious Balance


by Carol Berg



The text from the endoscopy center asks

how was my experience? Was my colonoscopy

excellent, good, average, or poor? Everything

is up for rating. How am I to know

the pathway of my colon—smooth and silky

or a bumpy ride, like driving over a dirt road

during construction? I wish my insides to be

as juicy and ripe as a cantaloupe picked at its

summer’s peak. But my cousin has bladder cancer

and my uncle is getting a pace-maker.

Somewhere inside of me must be the start

of my own death, some little seed germinating,

my warm blood the nutrient needed for death’s

weird white root to take hold.



Carol Berg (she/her) is a Writing Tutor at Pine Manor College. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, son, dog, three cats, and the many outdoor woodpeckers that hang out in the lovely Asian Dogwood tree outside her kitchen nook. She is an avid birdwatcher.


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