After the biopsy,   
after the bone scan,   
after the consult and the crying,   

for a few hours no one could find them,   
not even my sister,   
because it turns out   

they'd gone to the movies.   
Something tragic was playing,   
something epic,   

and so they went to the comedy   
with their popcorn   
and their cokes,   

the old wife whispering everything twice,   
the old husband   
cupping a palm to his ear,   

as the late sun lit up an orchard   
behind the strip mall,   
and they sat in the dark holding hands.

Poem copyright © 2006 by Patrick Phillips, whose latest book is "Chattahoochee," University of Arkansas Press, 2004. Reprinted from the "Greensboro Review," Fall 2006, No. 80, with permission of the author.
Source: 2006
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