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Thursday, November 03, 2016


by Janet Chalmers

“It’s a tremendous amount to put your body through, and it’s not like we’re going to get our breasts back,” said Rebecca Pine, 40, who decided against reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy. Credit Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times.

after “‘Going Flat’ After Breast Cancer,” by Roni Caryn Rabin 
in The New York Times, October 31 1, 2016.

Even before it was removed she knew she’d
have the tender cicatrix tattooed, would search

the gallery’s designs of ivy, snakes and dragons
intertwined until she found the single rose with

dagger thorns to shield her naked archer’s chest,
would use her grandmother’s antique crystal

serving bowl to display with warrior’s disdain

the powdered pink prothesis she would refuse.

J. Gerard Chalmers (Janet Chalmers) is a New York writer with an MFA from Columbia University. She has published poems, reviews and social commentary in many literary publications such as Bellevue Literary Review, Barrow Street, New Millennium Writings, Fogged Clarity, The Naugatuck River Review, Inkwell and the Kenyon Review (online). She was nominated for the 2014 anthology, Best New Poets and was a semi-finalist in the 2015 U. of Wisconsin Brittingham Prize and Felix Pollak Prize poetry series. She is currently writing a book of poetry called Scorpion Love about Picasso's mistress, the artist Dora Maar.