Lesly Hershman


I have a scar

A two-inch long


Nestled amongst my collarbone


Slowly shriveling up

Trying to hide.

I can't wait for it to


I got it almost a month ago.

Healing quickly

It reminds of illness

Of hospital beds

And robes that tie in the back,

Of cancer.

Long gone

In a Petri dish

Awaiting dissection

My cancer sits.

I cheated death by bidding it farewell

In a sterile

Operating room.

I didn't get sick

I just had cancer.

The small tumor hardly nibbled

It moved so slowly

But it used its power.

Frightening everyone

Paling their faces

Making them forget their gaping mouths.

I stayed strong

I had no choice

They all needed me strong


The calm voice saying the evil word


Lessening its mighty blow

But I got scared too

Not of death

Not of pain

The unknown made me cry

The unfairness of facing something tragic

At 21.

I cheated death

I killed my cancer

But it won a small victory

If left me a scar

Burning brightly on my neck

Reminding me I wasn't always healthy

Wasn't always able to cure myself alone.

I am still paying for the fight.

Hormonal imbalances

Special diets

More tests

More doctors.

Soon it will all settle down

And the scar will go away

And I can try to forget this summer

Historically noted

As the one that forced me to deny


A right to my body.