The layered scars,
bestowed along years of treatment
would tell their own story
if only I could let them.
But the cutting removing
re-arranging and healing
are neither sights nor tales
for the faint of heart,
and my cancer is not yet public property.
I don’t want your sorrow.
Don’t wear pink for me
and run marathons in my name
because my life, (what’s left of it)
is not yours to pity.
I’m the same bitch I’ve always been,
I still laugh at misfortune and
swear freely without shame.
Cynicism sharpened by poison.
before you see the cancer.
See the curly hair even when I’m bald
and the smile flying at half mast.
See the mismatched-on-purpose clothes
and the defiance
lingering behind my eyes.
See the terror, the pain and the loneliness
Rest with me in my silences.
See me pleading for time that you take for granted
but see me first.
I am not your drama
you cannot steal me.
I am not a crutch enabling your betterment
and I have no silver lining.
I’m the bad news you wish you hadn’t met,
sent to spoil your healthy day
but in my way, I’m happy.
I see joy where you cannot.
Love, birdsong, friendships, kindness
are spread so thickly on my slice of life
that I grow fatter each day
in the moment of every mouthful.
And the best? I save that for dessert.
I am not yet dead