Photography © Jennifer Matthews


After chemotherapy

This is being written in a room with a very high ceiling
I’m at my desk and just over head a transom light, facing east, allows
sunrise in. It is quiet. To my right, large windows the far side of the space
look out on the canal, on the black water below on its way to the river.
Those windows face south. Denise does her painting there
at that end of the room. This past winter, with the sun lower
in the sky all day, there were times the light was too much.
We recalled those astronauts in the Danny Boyle movie ‘Sunshine’
the way light became mesmerizing, paralyzing, a synesthetic noise
howling, scalding, screaming light, drowning out all thought and sense.
Denise did not complain though. She laughed at the reference
and drew the shades, worked as best as she could.
That was winter and this is spring, mid-April, early morning. Just now—
bird chatter outside starts shaping my thought. And I hear her waking.


Tom Driscoll lives in Lowell, MA with his wife, artist Denise Driscoll. They’re newly grandparents. His new book, The Champion of Doubt, was released this summer.

Poet/Photographer Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.