Mind Over Matter

She called herself a survivor.
To you that is what she was.
To her it didn’t matter that it came back, that
this time it would take her life, that
guerrilla warfare occupied every territory of her body, that
her soul was being forced from a home it knew
for only three decades,
barely settled in before
covering itself in white covers
within white walls
as if preparing for the only color flag
she could raise.⠀

She called herself a survivor,
knowing something
was growing inside of her that
she could not control, that
once was hers but has long ago become something
she no longer recognizes, that
is playing Mother Nature and Father Time,
cheating her of the universe she envisioned
once cradled comfortably in her palms,
using the gravitation of a grave to ground her.

She called herself a survivor.
That is not what she was,
that is what she is.
She unapologetically stares you down with empty eyes
tired, but resolute,
dares you to defy her reality.⠀

Delirium from brain cancer metastases is written in her charts-
she is having delusions.
But you think of her words,
see her eyes when you close your own,
realize you didn’t just walk into a hospital room,
you walked into a waging war you can’t see,
occupied territories you can’t reach,
flares that your medications can’t relieve,
confined within a woman trying to hold
everything together
confined within a woman who still
wraps herself in pink ribbon.

The least you can do is honor her valiance-believe her.
She is a survivor.

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