Tuesday, July 29, 2008
July 29, 2008 – Some Cancer Poetry
Here’s another way some survivors respond to cancer: by writing poetry. I ran across this poem on a New York Times health-related blog.
It’s by a woman named Kyle Potvin, who’s just gotten over chemotherapy for breast cancer.
The backstory is, Kyle had just come back from a business trip to Texas, where she’d bought her sons terrariums to grow cactus plants. Working with them to plant the cacti, she was inspired to write a poem, “The New Normal”:
To grow a Texas cactus from the start,
You scatter tiny seeds on dirt and sand
(Your nail works well to nudge stuck ones apart).
Then sprinkle water with a steady hand.
Each day, my son asks, “Will it get real tall?”
He crowds his brother as they check for growth –
The way I’ve searched my hairless head since fall.
I pray young shoots will sprout up soon for both.
It happens all at once – soft spikes appear;
I rub my scalp while calling to the boys.
They peer in close to analyze each spear.
My bigger joy is lost to hooting noise.
The victory is all my own: Mom’s hair?
The news is that we grew a Prickly Pear.