Photo taken in 2011

by Meg Senuta

I hated the word the day

I was well enough to drive myself

to a church for my first IBC support group meeting.

The letters on the sign out front read,

“A Community of Hope.”

My heart sank.

Needing hope felt the same as having no hope.

The sign made me feel hopeless.

I didn’t need a sign, a pamphlet,

or the sorry, sympathetic eyes of strangers.

I needed a physical manifestation of hope.

I needed the sunlight coming through the dirty window in March.

The taste of cream in my coffee.

I needed the woman entering the room,

greeting me,

as if I still looked like myself.

I’m Susan, she said. Ten years.

I knew what she meant.

Because we were all thinking,

how long?

Doctors couldn’t say. Google didn’t promise much.

But Susan said, Ten years.

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