When I thought I might die,
not eventually, but very
soon, I treated me more kindly,

as if I were my own child,
the girl I was, and the woman
I am, all melded

into a body worth
nurturing. Like a gentle
mother I opened my arms,

sat in my own lap
for hours. I spoiled
me, moment
by generous moment.


Call for Entries

Pulse Writing Contest

"On Being Different"

Cheryl Byler Keeler lives in a shabby Victorian farmhouse, grows heirloom vegetables and writes poems that arrive line by line. Some of them have been shared in International Psychoanalysis, The Mom Egg, Hospital Drive, BODY, Courtship of Winds and Blue Heron Review. She has an MEd in early childhood and an MFA in poetry, but has spent most of her working life managing a branch public library in the small town where she lives.

About the Poem

“This poem was written after my breast cancer treatments in 2001. In our action-oriented culture, where we tend to believe we can solve things by following a formula such as eating right, exercising, etc., it is easy to blame yourself when a serious health issue arises in your life. I had to move through blame into healing.”


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