Naked Reflections Poetry: Shameless and Unapologetic

Tag Archives: Cancer

November Writing Challenge Day 2: Unmuted Muse

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Today’s prompt asked me to write about a challenge I had to overcome and to write about it in couplets.


Unmuted Muse

With a new marbled notebook and purple flair pen

I would unmute my muse’s voice again

Surrounded by teachers who love to write

We’d compose together and find our light


I chose to face my deepest fears

Some I’d kept hidden for too many years

Wondering if I could reveal it all

Or if writers’ block would be my wall


I started with Malibu Barbie, that bitch

Who made me believe I could be rich

And blonde and tanned and skinny and pretty

My hair was kinky and I looked shitty


Then cancer found its way on the stage

While tears bled ink on my page

I birthed words that once knotted my noose

Never expecting my spirit would come loose


Until that poem I titled RAPE

Would leave every mouth and heart agape

Cocked to speak and release the shame

I am not my tragedy, shout my name.

October’s Writing Challenge #2: Use 100 One-Syllable Words to Tell a Story

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The C Word

a mass

stage four

in her right breast

the rare form

“What can we do?”

the dim doc said,

“Be there and take the time to help her through

she will get weak

and won’t want to eat or drink

she cried, “I won’t quit.

I’m strong.

I can beat this.

Don’t leave me here

in this cold room

take me home

where I can rest.”

Her kids and friends and us kin

watched her wilt

it took one year

to kill the bad cells

it took two more years

to kill all of her

rest on wings

pain free

In memory of my Shero, Donna Fulbright, who will always be remembered for her love, life, and unforgettable laugh!

Pieces of Peace #24: Transformed

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Living with the power

of peace

transforms from the inside out.

But suffering inside the fire

of a dragon

kills like cancer

that metastasizes

at the sound of a voice.





Prose Challenge Inspired by “Hairs” from The House on Mango Street

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Missing Hair

Everybody in our family has different hair.  My father’s hair was soft and thick but thin on top. His face stood out more than his hair. One day, cancer took his hair, but he kept it bald. No one really knew what he lost.

My sister, Pam, always had more hair than everyone. Her hair pulled her scalp. Does being tender-headed hurt down deep like being hard-headed? She is tender-headed. I am hard-headed. Pam’s hair tangled and matted when she was a little girl because she liked to leave it alone. She cried when my mother bothered it.

My hair was a creative project. From 2, 4, to 6 ponytails, to press ‘n curls, perms, and French braids. I messed it up, fixed it up, and twisted it up like gossip.

But my mother’s hair, my mother’s hair, like events on an endless timeline. Little girl pigtails, big bangs, pin curls, wigs like movie stars, and rollers with bobbie pins, and then wigs again because one day cancer took my mother’s hair. I remember the day when chemo hair filled her hands like clumps of grass unclaimed by their roots. She decided to shave it all off. No patches. No pity. Just prayers for power.

I saw a lady who reminded me of my mother. Silver hair trimming a golden face. Royalty shining from each gentle curl.  I wanted to comb her hair, brush it into something beautiful like a painting that holds memories before its colors begin to fade. I wanted to stand behind her at a kitchen table cluttered with curlers and cream, and roll her hair while she told me stories about how much hair my grandmother had. She was tender-headed too. I wanted her to tell me she loved me even with my hair a mess. I wanted to smell the oil sheen and her perfume one more time.


Stream of Unconscious Truth

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sparkle shore

This poem doesn’t have to make sense

It is mine

You, willing observer

of my subconscious tableau,

take snapshots of what is real to you

But know nothing

even resembling the truth.

My truth.

Angels danced on waves last night

and carried a melody to my ears.

A woman’s pink bandanna covered her cancer

but pain shouted through her eyes

shallow, searching, sad.

One hungry man got a free book from me today

His mind was starving more than his stomach.

I could not give him a dollar

My change is not spare

But I freely gave him my words and my gift.

The soles of her shoes, worn down

Like the body she dragged with them

But her heart beat stronger than mine.

Whatever hides under his hat

Sails on ocean currents

and washes up on foreign shores

deserted islands

where the story

resounds in drum beats

in wrinkled brows

where truth

tells itself through pained whispers

and weighted cries.

My poem is my story


but it happened

so it is.