This poem was written by our Project Life member and L.I.F.E. mentor Flori Hendron.
I’ve crossed the border
from a long life
to living in the countdown
of the end of my life
I was ripped out of a world
where I was mostly okay
and thrown into a world
of the not okay
the never to be okay again
And this new place I reside
the right here/right now
it’s rough to manage
everyone around living forward
trips, plans, goals, dreams
Mention the future to me
Watch me crumble!
My right here/right now
Is the land of
I can only hope
Time like a ruthless border patrol
keeping me in
While moving on
Time without regard for me,
or my borders
or my right here/right now
My son dares to plan his wedding
In another Era
Very far away
One whole year from now
And I crumble
My heart broken
Thinking thinking thinking
I don’t have that kind of time.
I can’t deliver on that date.
Mom he says angrily.
And then comes his rage.
His rage at my right here/right now.
I thought you’re okay he says.
I’m on a three-month plan.
I can deliver on three months
I can’t deliver on 12 - it’s too far away
He accuses me
You’re always dying.
Always saying you’re sick.
Remember our family appointment
at the oncologist, I say.
He acts like it’s a language he doesn’t speak
in a country he’s never visited.
He calls his sister
She tries to explain her empathy
For my borders.
Imagine someone going through chemo
And not feeling well all the time
But they only go through it for a few months
And then they recover.
Like your friend, in high school, remember.
And you were supportive
Even though he was sometimes sick
And often angry about it.
Mom’s been living there for 14 years.
Daughter tries to map out her empathy.
Son tries to read the map.
Fuck Breast Cancer Awareness
PinkTober, already crossing my borders
Breathing down my back those sneaky fucks.
A hot wet breath of ignorance and false information.
Cancer Muggles getting their jokes cued up.
Trying to alleviate their own anxiety.
All their dumb slogans, such empty words.
Save the Tatas,
Fight like a girl,
Not today cancer,
Breasties are Besties
In October we wear pink,
together, faith, cure,
pink, life, strength,
Fight - fight - fight
All artfully arranged
In a jumbo pink heart.
All that pink
Threatening to cross my border.
Socks T-shirts hats blankets water bottles and coffee cups
BECAUSE no one survives cancer without a pink ribbon coffee mug.
If you have a friend who died from metastatic breast cancer
you can be sure it was from a lack of pink ribbon merchandise.
I live on the edge.
In the right here/right now.
I own zero pink ribbon merchandise
No mugs. No T-shirts, not a cup or even a pen.