By Amara Hastings
Sixteen-year-old Amara Hastings, a junior at Natchitoches Central High School, submitted the following piece of poetry to the NPJ titled “Cancer Free.” Amara wrote this poem at the Natchitoches Public Library during a poetry workshop with NSU’s Brainy Acts Poetry Society.
The dark suffocated me
And almost snuffed out my hope.
But strength persisted and the flame burned brighter.
Fire caught and grew hotter.
Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.
Winning her fight with the invisible killer, my mother survives another day.
She doesn’t just survive, she lives and flourishes in the sun.
My mother is a steel magnolia, unbreakable and beautiful.
The day she told me of her invisible parasite, it was like the sun collapsed and the world was nothing but bleakness.
White noise replaced the sound of passing cars and people.
I felt my heart shatter like glass and my eyes burn.
The world was dark.
I was a ghost as poison was pumped into her veins.
Life was dim.
Then she stopped needing chemo
And surgery was an option.
A ray of hope blossomed in the darkness.
The light grew brighter and brighter, illuminating the bleak world with hope.
That invisible parasite was removed from her chest
On the same day that many shared a lover’s caress.
Weak, like a wilting flower,
She lay in the hospital bed.
“Cancer free” she whispers.
And we all beam brightly,
Our smiles illuminating and warding off any lingering despair.
Now I smile, for I am the daughter of a powerful woman.
And we are