Summer 2023 • Vol. XLV No. 1 Poetry |

Doctor of the World

The day before they remove the cancer on my breast, I am obsessed with small things. I am like the doctor of the world. I am struck by the size of the mosquito, the one on the shower wall, for instance, drifting on its long legs, keeping space between its body and the wall, unanchored as I can never be, with my bulges. There are these creatures on the margins, delicate as needles. I also like finding the mushrooms after this hard rain: perfect white, yellow, bright red, mottled orange. I observe that things are so unlike me, so alien. One mushroom floats from the side of a mossy stump like a spaceship. How have I lived in this world so long without being struck dumb? More and more things emerge from their hiddenness. Maybe the earth is showing its face like a last flowering before it is done. Before the waters and the fires take over. The mushrooms are lifting from the earth for a bare few days, saying, “You didn’t know what was here, did you?” And the mosquito, living its lif

Already have an account? Log in

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Photo of Fleda Brown
Fleda Brown’s tenth collection of poems, Flying Through a Hole in the Storm (Ohio University Press, 2021) won the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize from Ohio University Press and is a Foreword INDIES finalist. Brown’s earlier poems can be found in The Woods Are On Fire: New & Selected Poems, chosen by Ted Kooser for his University of Nebraska series, 2017. Her work has appeared three times in The Best American Poetry and has won a Pushcart Prize, the Felix Pollak Prize, the Philip Levine Prize in Poetry, and the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award for Poetry. Brown has also twice been a finalist for the National Poetry Series Competition. Her latest book is Mortality, with Friends (Wayne State University Press, 2021), a Midwest Book Award winner in memoir from the Midwest Independent Publishers Association.

Read More

No Heron

By Fleda Brown

The day before they remove the cancer on my breast, I am obsessed with small things. I am like the doctor of the world. I am struck by the size […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.