Trip (Katherine) Griffith is a participant of Writing the Journey, an online writing workshop for women affected by breast cancer led by experienced facilitator, author, poetry therapist and breast cancer survivor, Alysa Cummings. Trip wrote the poem below while in the program.
When I hear the words “new normal”
Applied to my life after cancer,
My teeth itch, my fingers curl,
My eyes squint, my ears ring.
I rejected normal long ago.
All those wretched shoulds and oughts
Boxing me in, shutting me down.
An itchy wool coat, stretched tight across my back.
So many words can describe my life,
My past, my present, my future.
Old favorites fit like a glove,
Soft and worn in all the right places,
New garments hang on my frame
As I slowly grow into them.
Words I choose, hope to achieve,
Or shed as I outgrow them.
Descriptions placed on my head
By happenstance or fate.
But normal has no place.