Helene Berlin’s poem, No Guarantees, is this month’s Healing Through Poetry feature:
Danger may be waiting around the corner
I found it myself in the shower one morning
Suddenly, shocking me, no prior warning
Lump like a rock in me, silently forming
How in the hell could this happen to me?
No family history, healthy at fifty-three
Docs say “mammo today, right away, don’t delay”
Luckily insurance will pay
Waiting in the changing room all alone
Scared to the bone, pink paper gown – cold
Minute hand slows while image unfolds
Suspicious, irregular borders, I’m told
“Good luck,” the young radiologist said
Hope giving way to dismay and dread
Destiny suspended by a slender thread
Am I going to die? How far has it spread?
Invasive, aggressive, found it in time
Was it chance or the hand of a Power Divine?
I’m not religious but I’ll always believe
My doctors were angels sent to bless me
Treatment was harsh, slash-poison-and-burn
No guarantees disease won’t return
Modern medicine can’t answer for sure
Though I won the battle, will I lose the war?
Today friends tell me it’s finished, move on
But that’s more easily said than done
I’ll never stop looking over my shoulder —
Danger may be waiting, just around the corner.
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