After Deep Canyon

by Margaret Dubay Mikus


After Deep Canyon
(At the Healing Journeys Conference)

Not behind me,
not behind me
this cancer, this disease—
the mistakes, the laughter
the judgment, the miracles.

Not behind me,
but with me,
the foundation upon which
all else was built fresh and strong:
the columns, the roof, the walls, the floor.

Not with me defining,
but with me as lattice, as bone,
to be built out from,
tendon, ligament, muscle, skin.

My skull unrecognized
for the face sculpted upon it.
It is not the bones that draw you to me,
but pure energy.

It is not my bones you see as beauty,
but it is the bones that support my form,
without my precious bones, I am Jell-O.
I would not wish it otherwise.

© 2001 Margaret Dubay Mikus

Bio: Margaret Dubay Mikus, PhD, was a research scientist and teacher. Using an integrative approach, she healed from multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart failure, and depression. Now a poet, singer, story-teller, healer, and photographer, she has three award-winning books including her latest, Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope and Healing, a welcome lifeboat through life’s hard times.

The poem above is from As Easy as Breathing: Reclaiming Power for Healing and Transformation (from Margaret’s first round with breast cancer). It was inspired by Annan Paterson’s moving performance of Deep Canyon at the Healing Journeys conference in 2001, which you can watch here.