In the Flower of My Youth

Marilyn Monroe? No, I didn’t look like that.

I had a slender stalk, yes, but my front was flat.

Only after I had a baby was my chest

plumper. To my delight, I finally had breasts.

Years later, mammogram, call-back, then the answer

I dreaded to hear. It was, they said, breast cancer.

I consulted, tried to find a way to say

no mastectomy for me, no, no way.

When all agreed I must if I wanted to live,

with or without breasts, then I had to give


No regrets. I talk of flowers, not me,

living flowers I’m glad to be alive to see.