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by Ali Zidel Meyers

Inspiration image

I ramble through word dust,
fall apart and fall together.
The letters are brittle twigs.
I tell my young son
about the operation.
He has one question:
Will it hurt? And how?
When I say “cancer,”
I see it mirrored in his eyes
– bouncing back –
he is unmoved.
Then I gather:
this word like an anvil
on adult shoulders
is nothing
but a new word
he hasn’t heard.
And I get to decide
what it means
for both of us.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Ali Meyers teaches and writes in the northern California Bay Area. She is a colon cancer survivor.

This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, January/February 2011.