an awkward word,

vowels lurking with malice

between those rock hard t’s

and stumbling past that sinister s,

into that endless z…

Even educated women know;

the seeds of broken dreams will gather

 nearest to the heart

and grow

until the Gardener’s sharpened shears

snip away the wretched, rotted root.

 That puckered rose, that brutal scar,

my brave and beautiful friend;

wear it as a medal:

triumphant, survivor, heroine!

©Cindy Taylor 2008

Photograph is the property of


Minnie Riperton:

In January 1976 Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a modified radical mastectomy. Though she was given just six months to live, she continued recording and touring, and in 1977 she became spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. Riperton was one of the first celebrities to go public with her breast cancer diagnosis, but did not disclose that she was terminally ill. In 1978, Riperton also received the prestigious Society’s Courage Award presented to her at the White House by then-President Jimmy Carter. She died at age 31 on July 12, 1979.



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21 Comments Add yours

  1. deepercolors says:

    Making me cry. That puckered rose… wear it as a medal. Wonderful.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s tragic, timely screening should be compulsory. Alas, I am guilty of neglecting having an annual test.

  2. Rosemary says:

    Beautiful CIndy, you have me in tears. 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s a savage and sad disease Rosemary 😦

  3. suzicate says:

    Beautiful, heartwrenching. I currently have friends fighing this,have ones who are survivors, and one’s who’ve lost the battle. Seems like everyone is touched by this horrible disease.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes suzicate, it does seem to touch everyone’s life at some stage.

    2. sonsothunder says:

      None of them lost the battle, they maybe went on sooner than the rest of us…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you Jingle.

  4. nrhatch says:

    Perfectly stated . . . especially “until the Gardener’s sharpened shears snip away the wretched, rotted root.”

    1. theonlycin says:

      Brutal hey Nancy?

  5. Jingle says:

    powerful words.

  6. Val says:

    I love you for writing and posting this Cin. I understand this from a family perspective and I go through this every year because of abnormal cells and a serious family a history. We are a lumpy lot and sometimes they kill us. I lost a friend to this horror four years ago and she left a vacant spot no one else can fill for all who loved her. This is important to say Cin, thank you for not only the words but the powerful image as well.

    1. theonlycin says:

      We must encourage early detection of the lumpys Val!

  7. adeeyoyo says:

    All sufferers of these dread diseases deserve medals and every support they can get!

  8. sonsothunder says:

    Like a dandy Lion; seeds blowing in the wind…
    We are here for a moment..
    Blown asunder… our stems bend…
    Floating gracefully our sprites do list…
    All hollowed wonder, pondering the mist…
    It comes as a freshness, and refreshes our slumber
    No longer a need for us to wonder…Peace..and lighted balls
    of fire…do we think He’ll let us fall? Rest peacefully natural child..the Super-Natural Father has a plan…and He’ll inform you …He’s has control of the out come…of it all..and therefore peace!!!

  9. Jamie Dedes says:

    Cindy, thank you for this. It’s moving and it’s important. Hugs!

    1. Jamie Dedes says:

      By the way, I put the link on my Facebook wall.

  10. sonsothunder says:

    My mother is a survivor, of 7 years now. Though she is 72 years old now, and experiencing some health difficulties stemming from an entirely different surgery 10 years ago, she just received a Positive report from the follow up checkup last month.
    Bless You Cindy

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