Black & Kinky Amongst Brown Waves

i remember how hard it was to write this poem…
November 2, 2010, 11:17 am
Filed under: family


sometimes a poet needs to be free of a feeling, experience, emotion…

i remember that writing this poem was so painful, but it was a breakthrough.  it was a part of my healing process after the death of my aunt in 2007.  i just read a quote this morning from film producer steven shagan, “be glad you had the moment.” i think that is so profound.  whether the moment brought tears or joy, i need to be glad. i am glad…


cancer journal (c) 2008 by margaux delotte-bennett


this is a poem about cancer

this is a poem about insurance

this is a poem about a break from the stifling grief that makes me want to hide

a break that has allowed words to flow

in the place of salty, hot tears

she worked at a hospital

a place of healing and health

but everyone who made up the hospitality staff could only work 39 hours

60 minutes short of proper health insurance

her meager checks now split in 2

1/2 to make sure her doctors appointments were not denied

1/2 to cover the ever mounting bills

because when you don’t have your health

you can’t work your full 39 hours…

she: come over here and feel this

me: wow! that lump is hard and big!

she: yeah, i know… it’s been there for a while.  i think it’s just a fibroid.

me: whatever it is, you should go to the doctor

$45 co-pay here

$100 deductible there

2 weeks later

she’s on the table for the first cut

all that remains of her left breast is a weeping scar

after the drip and the wound

the wound and the chemo

the chemo and the radiation

and the pain

and the worry

she: I will never go through chemo again

me: ok, ok

she: never… again.

fighting for disability benefits

fighting for proper coverage


for her life

she went on the table a second time

all that remains of her healthy right breast

is a weeping scar

she said never again

and she meant it

she once told me that after chemo

everything tasted like ash

nothing could be more harrowing for a lover of spices

a passionate baker

an enthused caterer by profession and by choice

cancer is fucking ugly

shit and piss on a good day

frothy shit and blood streaked piss on a bad one

the loss of hair is minor

the loss of self is major

and the poisons you ingest

are only supposed to kill that part of you that wants you dead

that part of you growing out of control

the cutting, chemo and crying did nothing to control her cancer

she fought a good fight, but a losing one

in the end

her insurance benefits were just enough to cover her


and the last time she went on the table

she was finally



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