I look beyond the horizon of my soul, searching
for connection in the vast wasteland of my being.
Restlessness, agitation rule my waking time.
Dreams, insomnia tick away the hours until dawn.
The tears come suddenly, frequently.
They anger me, these unbidden rivulets
of misery and weakness.
I have no right to wallow and complain.
I did not lose my hair.
I did not lose my breast.
I have a scar – not enough to bear the title
I bottle up inside the negativity,
watching helplessly as it seeps across the barriers
I carefully construct. These promises of safety failing
miserably, leaving me exposed.
A year has passed.
Get over it you drama queen!
Are you simply vying for attention
with your sudden outbursts of rage and anguish?
You don’t need anyone. You have the tools to rise
above this. You studied this, this disease.
You know it well,
all its intricate, poisonous traps and evil intentions.
I spin my wheels helplessly, hopelessly unsure of myself.
The Noble Circle
A cancer support group. Just try them.
I think you’ll be a fit.
I agree with hesitation, convinced that it won’t work.
I don’t need anyone. I have the tools to rise above this.
I have studied this, this disease.
I know it well, all its finest details.
The time has come to meet them, this group of survivors.
A weekend retreat- but I decline…knowing I’ll be fine.
A season passes.
Desperation and despair permeate my being.
My spirit leaves and watches from the distance.
I fear it’s lost for good and spend the days disheartened.
Another call. We have a spot, a September retreat.
I cry and grasp the opportunity but worry I won’t fit. They’ll have more in common
with each other than with me.
They’ll have lost their hair, their breasts, I think, but
feel relief to see they don’t look any different than me.
I feel guarded this first day and hide behind a collage of images, creating who I am, or who I think I have been.
Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I lose control and cry.
Angry at my weakness, internal punishment and promises of control rein emotion in.
Benevolent gazes cause discomfort,
unfit for the attention.
A day of meditation, of food and interaction.
My essence hums with energy and excitement,
embraced with positive acceptance, fortified with
vows to dominate emotion.
A sharing circle brings epiphany.
I chew my tongue to focus on the physical,
refusing to break and bow to humiliation.
A woman speaks my heart,
and restraint buckles beneath a wave of hot tears
filling my soul with shame.
Soft touches and kind words of consolation
caress the pain away.
Sisters, they say. I squirm, unfit for the attention.
Drums pounding catch me in their beat, beat beat.
l play and dance in rhythm, two steps away from freedom,
not quite leaving memory and pain.
A final meditation,
the sharing of a story in poetry and art.
I look at those who came before me
and wonder who has passed and who I’ll meet.
A final day begins my transition to a sisterhood
and long-deserved attention.
I practice the word, testing its boundaries
and fine lines, embracing long-awaited peace.
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