by Susan Deborah King

In the market, the organic market where

we can find healing, untainted food,

they called out my name with gusto.

I looked over. I didn’t know them.

Whose were those radiant faces?

They shouted: It’s Jean! It’s Ruth!

I’d never seen them with their hair!

Only bald and turbaned from the chemo.

Only gaunt, quiet, braving tentative smiles.

Now pouring from the tops of their heads

fountains of gold and silver – silken, curled.

One with each arm, I embraced them both,

felt them warm against me, wet-faced,

torsos shaking with laughter.

We are still here.

Susan Deborah King - 9
Bio: Susan Deborah (Sam) King, M.Div.
, has taught writing at various institutions in the Minneapolis area, and Connecticut. Formerly a Presbyterian minister and psychotherapist, she leads retreats on creativity and spirituality, teaches privately and serves as mentor to many emerging poets.

Her poems have been widely published in magazines and journals, and she has several books of poetry published. She was given a George Family Foundation grant to complete a book of poems about her experience with breast cancer, One Breasted Woman, from which this month’s poem is taken. Sam divides her time between Minneapolis and Cranberry Isles, Maine, with her husband, and is mother to grown twin daughters.