I’m not sure why I found it so endearing,
the surgeon’s always saying, upon hearing
his patient’s slightly hopeful rephrasing or reply
just after he’s been told the how and the why
of the surgery or recovery, a fine-mineral fear
inset in optimism, “From your mouth to God’s ear.”
The surgeon said it encouragingly, with a smile.
Considering it, it took me only a little while
to realize what it signified: “We can’t really know,
but it’s good to hope so. Who knows? Let’s hope so.
But also don’t mistake my taking of a measure,
my neutral explanation. Elsewhere is your treasure
or rescue, if any exists. Nothing is promised, either.”
By then, I was content to drift in uncertainty’s ether.