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Night On The Mountain | Cancer Poem

July 25th, 2017 |
Creativity, Survivorship

by TheThinWhiteBlake | Survivor: Testicular Cancer    Connect


This was written after my long, painful recovery from RPLND surgery.

Night on the Mountain

These bodies and no others, the flesh so hollow
that we are like old trees carrying
the slices from every axe that tried to cut us down.

The snow falls down all night on this little street,
but what happens next?

You sit all Saturday in a booth taking tickets, though your heart's not in it,
carrying a scar the size of a diamond where your kidney is gone,
and already there is snow in small little ridges
on the truck you borrowed to buy groceries.

And then what happens?

One day, you get a stomach ache.

One day, you can’t breathe and wake up on the floor
so a woman takes you in her arms,
and on her shoulder you notice a dragon tattoo
remembering the book on King Arthur,
in the county library where the walls were yellow,
and the darkness was still distant.

You sit up suddenly, without meaning to,
a shot of pain, and your eyes open.

You learn to leave your body,
and dream you are a great bird chasing the river.

If I go, you say, I won't be here anymore.

What happens next?

I don't know what happens.
It's not a book anymore.

Maybe we're dying. Maybe not yet.
On the outskirts of the city, buried in shadows and snow.

And well, it's just my opinion, but
the row of pill bottles and the heap of pillows,
make for a long night and a slow ride through hell.

Does this paint a picture that you recognize in your life after treatment? Share your experience in the comments below

Photo courtesy of Marvin Meyer.

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Blake Lynch is a testicular cancer survivor (4xBEP + an RPLND) and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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