These Days

Anne Silver

From: Bare Root: a poet's journey with breast cancer. Terrapin Press, 2002

When I say I'm scared
my friends scoff.
The word they say is

challenged

I say I'm pissed.
Enlightened nostrils flare.
The word is

uncomfortable

People cringe at the word
cancer, avoid me
and say on the run,
Darling, you must stop scaring people.
Say:

illness

I'm furious with my dentist
for putting mercury in my teeth.
Didn't he know it'd leech into my brain?
I'm told to

chill

Lonely, I cry at night.
I'm told to make peace with

solitude

If I took an Uzi to the mall,
shot a round or two,
they'd rightly call me:

misunderstood.

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