timer 5 mins
For the background to this poem and how Tamsin embraced poetry, have a read of her post here.
Fragments by Tamsin
I don’t know when we first met
there was no warning of your approach
no-one whispered the words: “he’s coming,”
how is it that I didn’t notice your arrival?
I only remember tracing the outline of you with my fingertips
I only remember the sensation of you on my skin
and now here we are all these years later
I have tried so hard not to think about you
I have tried so hard to forget
you are an unwelcome visitor,
sitting, waiting patiently for me in a room which I dare not enter
you are a raging fire
sometimes you can be beaten back
sometimes you devour everything in your path
you burned away everything I believed in
and all the certainties which I held as truths
and now because of you I am broken
and now because of you I am fragments
you think that I’m afraid of you, don’t you?
you think that I’m in your thrall
don’t misjudge my acceptance of you as a sign of weakness
don’t mistake my quiet resignation for surrender
I can look you in the eye now
see the scars you left behind,
fractures too fine to mend with molten gold
by the art of kintsugi
I am a kaleidoscope of flaws
countless pieces of coloured glass in motion
a murmuration of butterflies
I am patterns unbecoming and becoming,
an endless constellation of bright wings in flight
Tamsin is a social worker living with her family in South London. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40 in 2009 and again in 2012. A soft-touch mother and manager, she is learning to live with the long-term effects of breast cancer, including lymphoedema in her right hand and both arms. Tamsin is a would-be writer and reluctant blogger who pens occasional pieces to challenge the ‘single story’ about breast cancer and to raise greater awareness of the enduring emotional and psychological impact of cancer.
We need your help
Found this helpful?
6 people found this helpful. Let us know if you did so we can keep it up.
Share a tip with others and you could receive a gift, as a token of our thanks.
Running websites is expensive stuff. Any donation you can spare we are very grateful for.