Weekly Round-Up

for this week’s round-up of the best of the blog posts which I’ve read over the past week. These are the posts that have moved me, taught me …

Weekly Round-Up

I’m always grateful to my beloved friend Marie for taking time from her superhuman schedule to support the breast cancer community’s blogs. She brings us together- with her expert web SEO experience and blog writing expertise – into a one stop weekly pop up shop of posts. And she reads and compiles the best of what she’s found for easy access to those who need our words most. Admittedly recognition for the work we put in week in and week out feels pretty nice, too.

Sometimes we write more or less than weekly depending on our health and other factors, but always with the hope that we are helping someone e;she find their way through the dense fog that is a breast cancer diagnosis.

No one need go through it alone. In our blogs there’s always an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on for support. Patient advocacy is part of a broad spectrum of activities, writing being one of the most important. For writing these blogs and guest writing for nonprofits and on each other’s sites are helpful to everyone from caregivers, to patients, to healthcare practitioners, to family and friends. It is here in these words that our legacy will live on well beyond how long our lives mat be in the case where the writer has metastatic disease.

As in my case it’s going on six long years since my de novo stage 4 diagnosis. I’ve been writing my blog for about five and a half years and I am very happy to know Marie and all the women and men that are recognized in her weekly round up. I am so grateful to know all of the terrific writers that she coalesces into one beautiful community every week.

I hope you’ll take a read of the other blog posts in the weekly round ups – you may find something you’re looking for or an answer to a question or a resource that you could use. But do take the time to read them — all wonderful and all important for many nuanced reasons. And, Marie’s blog contains useful resources and packed with information you can use.

Much love, to you Marie, the tireless tigress from across the Atlantic.

Broken Circle

A mirror can’t judge you
Nor can it lie, it hangs up deliberating
In a box without jury or law.
Facing adjudication
I tell my side and can swear
On a stack of miracles
As a morning sleepy refugee
Belonging nowhere today
I get dressed for the trial anyway.
Showered, shorn and bowels empty
I’m a traveler brushing her hair
Singing, humming, bustling
Like yesterday but no chair
Awaits me at any desk, no rustling
Paperwork into the corrals
Where the palominos ran.
I’m instead looking at four walls
Painted dove gray and orange.
The mind of an orangutan
Looking at the empty crates
No more books no more tape
No more staples, no more breaks.
Water coolers generate condensation
Leaving now your conversations
Gossips of Karen’s and Kate’s
Sales pitched over the plate
By Pete’s and Paul’s and the VPs.
Why I’ve never smoked
But I now show signs of
Someone older with a gash
Between my eyes
As though a killer with an axe
Took me for a blind ride by surprise.
Catch your breath, still slapping
An oak desk or a glass table
From a joke we all heard a hundred times
The overripe punchlines left
A prime meridian of jokes
The longitude of laughter
Down to the frown ground into
Cleft chins and Adam’s apples.
The mirror round, a circle nothing
Special, or even social.
Sorely left concave and convex
Not impressing or annoying
Yet impressionable
Not beautiful but attractive
Not pretentious, but on reflection
Of one more than anything
You knew about everyone else
All the knowns and even the odds
Of the unknown futures. The past
Imperfect and Impossible still
Nothing of a future state
Meant to somebody
Who once held weight around here.
They saw your signal
At the stop sign Not a zodiac but
A night light spotting by accident
Before it happened making
A living beyond killing as a comic
The twist of a cosmic relief made to
Unsteady the hands the end of a pair
Of arms of two feet right in front
Of your very eyes moments unfolded
In sheets on a bed waiting for you
White and Egyptian. Enter with
A card key and a new friend.
She’s ready, willing like Able to Cain.
Sisyphus or Thor your
Next door neighbors. During the silent
Years you never knew me, the unicorn.
“She found her horn in the yard,”
Everyone knows. It was a joust
From beating her head against
A brick house. The place
Where now justice ahead of us
Made a left and t-boned into
The passenger, dead by impact.
Tomorrow’s special the guilt
Pie. Eaten a la mode with sprinkles.
Sailing across the bench seat into
Your empty children
Lying to you not strapped in
Tricked by slight of unhanded
Sighs of relief knowing why
The cage door open
And the bird sings yet never
Leaves. Unclipped wings don’t try
Wet with sea spray don’t dry.
Good luck take care and these
Twice a day during questioning
By a peace officer without any
Tickets to the ride to the station
Where I have the right
Go ahead make a call. What
Number - call Pi, or infinity.
Like those wild eyes I saw in the
Mirror just this morning . Inert
Inverted like my thoughts thatched
In a fence around the old dog run.
You’re not really free, never were .
Nobody has a will or a right to the truth
The mirror always lies and hangs
Me upon the wall where I got framed.

The Voyage of May Flowers

Pulling from the highest shelf 
(Hoping no one noticed)
A book labeled too provocative to leave behind:
“Dead & Pretty”
How they once sipped water through stems
From beneath the clean garden soil.
I sit on oak old chairs at Along library table with hearts carved by keys
Holding initials of what love leaves
Turning pages of pressed flowers
Bowing their heads in prayer hour after hour.
Weak petals dry as ice
Lining page after page with the names
Of the dead typed carefully
To let me not forget:
Poppy, Lily, Daisy, Cassia, Aster
Carefully as though stepping through a grave yard - faster and faster
I close the tomb of wild things
With Short lives. I sit remembering
Trying to sweep away my cobwebs
I find dust and mold instead
My skin the color of smooth stones
My body’s brittle bones
Now the color of magnolias.
Water in those years
Turned ore to rust everywhere. Torrential winter snows
Opened up on sleepy
Flower beds. Springing now
Surprising early yellow tulips Yawning their petals open

Waiting to hear the breezes beat to begin dancing -
Bent and swaying
In their cradle and their grave.
Marigolds in my grandma’s garden
Weeds to her - once graced
Me with my tomorrow’s and memories and yesterday’s.
Can you recall when “I love you”
Was enough to buy more time?
Now that I’m expiring, do you still consider
That money well spent?

You bent me towards the light. Then let me go to cry alone.
I know the dawn - I tell you
Dusk I know, too, time lies.
We’ve come for shoveling
Planting, pruning.
Our rough callous hands holding
A bouquet of ill gotten gains.
Some say we’re born of women
Some only children of men
Yet it’s in the heat of my own body
Where I am born again.
My own flowers are planted in clay pots
Held in by iron fences waiting
For chances at their time in the garden.
If you could do it over again
Would you mind not knowing why?
The fall’s done showing off,
Yet Women’s work is never done
Even once we have succumbed to the worst of it.

I set my timer for high tide
Boarding early. Late as ever
You stumbled as you rolled with the waves.
Why you insisted to save
Yourself yet let your legs give way breaking your stride
Now drowning in tears and years of regret
(told you so I told you so)
“Make memories like books of pressed flowers
Let the beauty lie for you
Make the memories last longer.”
Too busy to listen now listless and deaf
Now throwing yourself to a tear soaked ocean
Right along with my steamer trunk
Filled with your pasts
With all the photographs.
All the pressed flowers now floating like dead fish
Along side my face pressed
Against yours in a kiss.

Now Walking the house end yo end like an old pirate
You won’t sleep until you can’t stay awake.
Once you dreamed of drowning
Yet found a floating plank instead
Freed from a boat that crashed long ago
Its bounty sunk down down on a coral reef.
You never learned, yet I swam
Without taking a breath until I found the
Flowers of the sea at
Depths that mean only one things.
And now with the ahead and forwards alone
How easy to forget how love feels.
Rolling your shoulders back
And now put the book on the shelf where it belongs.
(You knew I was no thief)
I meant to return it at least you choose to believe it.