Roberta Alexander is a retired Lodi teacher, whose passion has turned to writing poetry. She has published a children's book, "Claude." I also like knitting, reading and traveling. I really enjoy meeting new people and seeing new places. "Gardenias" was published in Runes, a review of poetry.
The room suddenly fills with the scent of flowers. I lay motionless on the steel table like a half dressedmannequin, flung into the corner.
My arms frozen in Styrofoam lying over the top of my head both twisted in the same direction.
My bare skin velcroed to the hard surface. Pain crawls in between my shoulder blades.
Tiny beams of light pierce the darkness marking the area to be radiated. I think about the infamous mushroom cloud.
My body numbs. At the end of the first hour
I stand slowly moving across the room to the window. There on a bush are two perfect gardenias. To touch the soft white petals will turn them brown.
I lay still as a hot needle imbeds black dye into my skin, preparing my left breast for six weeks of treatment. The gardenia bush in the garden continues to flower.