Poem for City of Hope

Down on the National Mall on a cloudy Sunday morning
I laid hands on the women wearing purple boas. The ones who made it.
At this Walk for Hope, a sign: ‘one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer in her lifetime.’
Women have died and are dying. Who knows what to say?
Mrs. Donna, my beloved preschool teacher, quieted us to sleep with hip dances before naptime. A handful of months the only signposts of breast cancer. Then, a great vanishing.
Women are dying. They are surviving too.
Eating pomegranates and mushrooms, removing body parts, raising children, testing their DNA, dancing.
For these women, a right of passage. And a hope they can feel in their feet.

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