Three Tankas

by Christopher Chang: Resident in Family Medicine

Third Prize Winner 2014 Gerald F. Berlin Creative Writing Award

Tanka for Jeanne

cachectic body
recounting his stubborn death
my hands holding hers
i could not listen longer
our hearts conspiring to heal

Tanka for Nancy

callous pelvic mass
then post-op complications
suddenly “xDECEASED_”
i remember her stark eyes
before i exhaled “cancer”

Tanka for V. Hooper

nursing home storage
her life reduced to four bags
the light was turned off
i didn’t know she had died
closure like a tender knife