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Online Breast Cancer Support

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Mary Ellen Ryder is a Boise State professor who died in a major fire here in Boise last night. She was a two time breast cancer survivor and wrote the following.

Ryder wrote a poem about her experience with cancer in 2005:
Mirror, Mirror—I always hated my body.
My mother hated hers.
It’s an old family traditionhanded down
motherto daughter
along with the genes
of hefty Yorkshire farmwomen
and strong Irish washerwomen.
“Your body is a temple!”
Ha!mine was just a pedestal
to put my beautiful brain on
and not even good at that.
a routine mammogram
five white dots
small at the first glimpse
of bombs dropping from a clear sky
“—abnormal calcificationusually indicate cancer cells”
my body abnormal
of course
“—exceptionally luckyto be given such an earlier warning”
my body?
again I look at the dots
spelling help a message from a castaway
hoping I would notice in time
and in timeI did.
I hug my lovely body.
thank god I say
thank god we’re in this together.
—Mary Ellen Ryder

1 comment:

kannie said...

Wow - what a powerful poem. And boy, does it strike a lot of really sensitive nerves... What an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing her poetry.