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Cancer: The 'Emperor of All Maladies' Has Fallen

A poem about how the medical community has helped reduce cancer and save lives.
BY Chris Collins
PUBLISHED July 26, 2019
The “Emperor of All Maladies” Has Fallen
by Chris Collins

Today you took my dear friend to bed.
Before that you pummeled, beat,
frightened, and horrified my family
after filling them all with dread.

You took them down repeatedly,
put them all in a wooden box,                            
then in a small dirt bed; you took them
laying there without covers or sox.

There is nothing kind, calm or gentle
about you 
or the bodies you wreak.
Your name “cancer” surely chills the
bones of the bodies you quietly meet.


You oppress, invade the innocents,
and leave those people quite bereft.
You break hearts; you’re insidious; 

your energy is deadly vigorous.

Though you’re a demon you don’t
discriminate. You’re democratic.
You welcome everyone with a
growing power that’s metastatic


You cast a long shadow hunting
like a ghost. Regardless of age, color
race or creed, you shock, overwhelm,
make all your suspects cower.

You travel long distances; you are
legion with no limits no borders.

You have many forms; you’re a scourge,
giving live organs your deadly orders.                         

Science revealed your clever disguises
diligently discovering your impervious style.                           
While we lived on the edge between dark and light
science helped us survive revealing your guile.                       

Your scythe - now blunted by science’s call -
Has caused the “emperor of all maladies” to fall.
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