Planting the Seeds of Words as a Cancer Survivor


As a three-time cancer survivor, I wonder: are my roots damaged or resting to find their way?

Image of a dictionary definition of the word "Survivor"

A Poem About Ownership

I am a Cancer Survivor.

I will plant these words everywhere

with strong roots so that they

will flower even in the most unlikely places.

These words will no longer just dwell

to the point of suffocation.

These are words that I have never said.

But I have felt them burning a hole

on the tip of my tongue.

And yes, you will be able to taste them

as they swirl around the inside of your mouth.

These are the words that have vibrated

like thunder pounding in my brain.

So yes, they will invade and crash

the armor of your soul.

These words will pierce your heart

and yes, you will be able to feel them

tickle your veins and arteries.

They will press hard against any fabric

to end up under your skin.

You will have to read them over

and over again because you will not be able

to understand me until you suck in my words

and spit them out again.

You are a Cancer Survivor.

So, I can leave this page now

because there is nothing left to write.

But ah! Now I am empty of the haunting madness!

So yes, this poem does belong to you now.


I am watching your petals reach out as

they touch the sky to feel the sun upon your shoulders.

I have flowered and bloomed many times in my lifetime

with numerous hues of sadness and joy.

But this morning I sit and wonder as I write these words,

“Have my roots been damaged

or are they just resting under the dirt for a while

waiting to find direction?”

But suddenly I realize that I cannot stop

these roots from spreading their knobby toes

just as I cannot stop all these swollen words

from bouncing off this page.

And somewhere within them, a poem blooms

And I reach out to touch the sky.

This post was written and submitted by Rochelle Rofey-Colón. The article reflects the views of Rofey-Colón and not of CURE®. This is also not supposed to be intended as medical advice.

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