Poetry: Breast Cancer

Breast Can­cer
–Ann Iverson

One time while paint­ing in an unven­ti­lat­ed space
my hus­band said, “Ann, breasts absorb everything,
every tox­ic fume and chem­i­cal there is.”
                       
~

I began to think of all the breasts in the world:
upright and alert in uncom­fort­able under-wire bras
or maybe weary and hang­ing with no sup­port at all
vul­ner­a­ble and inno­cent breasts.
Albi­no, cream choco­late, mint, bruised, bitten,
tan­gled, tired, sil­i­cone, yellow,
hap­py east and west.
                       
~

Canine mam­ma­ry can­cer spreads identically
as it does in a woman:
Lump, lymph nodes, lung, back, brain.
The very obe­di­ent dog began to wet the carpet
about a year after the malig­nan­cy was removed.
That night after sup­per her legs gave out
and the cat came to touch noses.
The col­lar and tags are what they gave me.
My mom just loved that dog.
                       
~

I have four sis­ters, which makes this fear tenfold.
For good­ness sake, Mother,
you set­tle in my heart like a house at night.
The slow­est creak­ing in mem­o­ry sink­ing deep into the earth:
I am four, you bathe.
I peek through the keyhole.
I hear singing from the tub,
your brassiere hang­ing from the doorknob.

From Come Now to the Window

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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