A Poem About Cancer and Weeds


With my breast cancer experience, there's always a juxtaposition between the fear of mortality and the hope of living.

Edible fresh yellow blowball dandelion flowers, spring, summer | Image Credit: © Reddogs - stock.adobe.com.

Kerewsky reminds herself that she too becomes the weeds in the soil.

There Are Always Weeds

The weeds don’t end,

can’t be extirpated,

only held in balance.

They’re good at what they do,

better than I, with my

big brain and distractions.

Horsetail older than us all

proliferates, infiltrates,

takes it over with its

itchy rhizomes.

My own secret cells,

self and not-self

and the fungi, too,

the blood grass, too.

As you know,

I’m not very smart

sometimes, walking barefoot

in the garden

against medical advice.

Walking where the black widow walks,

grasping where the blackberries

force their thorns, under

the hot sun, also proscribed.

I dig my toes into the damp soil,

remind myself that I become

these weeds, rooting everywhere,

upending everything,

sunward, all.

I have been trying to write about my bilateral breast cancer experience in a way that holds both the dread of mortality and the hope of living.

This post was written and submitted by Shoshana D. Kerewsky. The article reflects the views of Kerewsky and not of CURE®. This is also not supposed to be intended as medical advice.

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