D. Avery’s Books

6x9_Front_EN newest final cover copySource: D. Avery’s Books

I revise way more than I write. That’s why I like Lulu Press for self-publishing. I can always go back to a project and make changes. And I very recently wrote (and revised) this poem that belongs in For the Girls, so I will add it to the book. Computers… amazing.

The original version of For the Girls came together last April as I was finishing radiation treatments alongside a neighbor and colleague (what are the odds?) and a year after losing a dear friend to breast cancer. Too many of us are too familiar with breast cancer so, unfortunately, this book of poems may resonate with you.


there’s the aftermath and the math that came before

the math beginning

at conception

studies in symmetry

cell division

beyond your perception

dividing dividing

doubling doubling

whole greater than the sum of its parts

that math was before

now you are older and there is more

increase of everything

increase of years

increase of knowledge of what you might fear

there’s simple math, the hardest math

simply counting

those we know diagnosed

more than two hands can handle

fractions and subtractions

impossible math of infinite cost


those we have lost

and maybe you become

one that’s counted


now doing the math of probability

careful computation of likelihood

of outcomes

positive or negative

percentages and rates

varying possibilities

including remission

including recurrence

check the math

compute for assurance

the math meant to be descriptive

expressions of comparative measures

of stages and of grades

the math of measures

of counting time

of duration

days of radiation

rounds of chemo

years of expectation

calculating how long

weighing quantity and quality

this kind of math is wrong.

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