More than a narrative of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, silent sister: the mastectomy poems bears witness to social and psychological impacts, for better or worse, of the altered body and mind. You enter the cave, and in it are fragments of truth, recollection, dream, hallucination and birds. You laugh. You cry. You inspire. And you breathe.
i phone. let my sisters
know that Dr. Kanashiro tells me
they are now at risk, in that strange
mathematics by which
my illness has made them more
yes, yes, one sister says.
i understand. and the other, i’ll book a mammogram
and the third, well, my friend had a
mastectomy, and she’s just fine.
my neighbour visits. do you
want to see, i say. do you
want to show me? yes,
yes i do. i want to show you,
i want to scream naked
thru the streets and run and run
and run, one breast
then they’ll see,
won’t they then they’ll see
cancer grows like a nest, the crows
on the top of the lamp post, their funny
dance from foot to foot, and throaty burble,
the clicking from under a tongue.
feathers alight and the bird returns with mud,
twigs, feathers, a silver ribbon. it’s the glittery
in the morning, looking for eggs
hidden by my father while we are at
easter mass. how many can we find?
one two three. where’s mine?
and the others? look. it’s the whiskey
jack who took them. or the magpies.
they take the robin eggs too, suck
the filling out, like candy.
it’s spring. rain on the first
it’s spring. i’m waiting. listen
it’s the rain. i hear it. i know
it’s the rain.