Micky Shorr

Not My Gift

Some woman says getting cancer is the best thing
that ever happened to her.
Recuperating from surgery, I’ve chosen the oncologist,
scheduled the appointment.
I express some anger about this hardship in my life, and
am reprimanded for not accepting my diagnosis.

It’s years since my encounter with a life-threatening
illness. I still don’t consider it any way a gift.
After the chemo, poems tumbled out, affirming that I was
not the cancer.
Maybe a painful early life ignited my survival mode.
That awful childhood does not make me grateful.

I don’t believe that suffering raises your consciousness.
Don’t believe adversity always makes a person stronger.
I did not find that cancer made me wiser, nicer, or more
appreciative. I did with cancer what I learned as a child.

I waited, endured, stayed alive.


Micky Shorr has had poems published in a number of literary journals, and her work was read on local radio while she lived in Kingston, NY. Micky relocated back to Brooklyn recently, and currently leads writing workshops through the NY Writers Coalition, and continues to attend poetry reading where she has occasionally been the featured reader or shares during open mic sessions.