A Soulful Song 

An African American woman lays 

In the sterile white bed

She has a glass of flowers in full bloom

Her hands are neatly manicured 

I come in quietly 

Introducing myself 

And the function of my presence: 

Just to sit and listen or to

Chit chat a bit I always say sweetly 

The woman tells me of her younger days 

Singing for her local church 

Her love for the songs

And her love for her religion shines 

On her weary face 

I’ve been battling lymphoma 

She says quietly 

Her voice is raspy with age and her battle 

I tell her that 

She is probably still 

A beautiful singer

Before I know it 

A beautiful melody 

Filters through the quiet air 

She powerfully sings 

The song of her youth 

Her voice cracks and dips

But it is the most pure song 

The most real thing 

I have ever listened to 

I smile quietly 

Thank you I say 

You are beautiful 

After a couple moments of 

Comfortable silence 

She tells me 

Out of the blue 

You’re really pretty 

I smile and shake my head 

I remember clearly 

Not even brushing my hair 

That morning 

Thank you

Is all I can say 

And as I bid her adieu 

After more sweet moments 

I rest my hands in hers 

I wish you peace and comfort 

I think to myself

As I look into her eyes 

Willing her to believe 

But I already know 

She’s in good hands already 



And it may be unfortunate 

But I believe that cancer 

Is our most important fight 

For social justice 

For anyone


 of creed, origin, ethnicity, race or gender 

Could be afflicted with this illness 

If something has to bring together our 


Then this shall be it. 


I have to tell myself that 

I love myself

And that means all parts of myself

That means I don’t say that my crying is ugly 

That I say that I hate my hair

That I want to cut my hair 

That I can’t stand how heavy I feel 

That when looks in the mirror and frowns and hopes and wishes 

that the love that I perceive

when I see my reflection is real

That I wish to sleep eternally

That I think that I can’t make anything of myself

That I think that I will never be smart enough 

That I will never have true friends 

That I will always be the outsider 

To kill or maim any part of me

Is like destroying the whole 

For who am I 

Besides the sum of my –broken— parts

Who am I without my scars 

I am just a plain canvas with no story to tell 


I am me 

With all of my hurt and weight 

And thoughts hounding me 

I am me

A work in progress 

finding myself 

learning  about myself 

A person who hopes to aspire to be better 
Every day 



I am