Saturday, September 27, 2014


She looked at the spot on her arm.
She still referred to them as freckles.
Raised, turning purple,
another little cancer.
Another little thing to have removed
before it could become a large living entity--
attached yet separate from her.

Her life seemed
s series of excised entities,
now remembered as discarded tissues.
So many had come and gone.
She tried to keep emotionless;
had sublimated those resentments, 
those what-ifs.

Once she was without blemish;
but, she loved badly and her parents disapproved.
It was so long ago they took that little bit away,
the one that would have been a boy.
She was given no choice.

Thinking, as she considered the growing puffy freckle,
which one of these removals would destroy her.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved


  1. So layered with meanings, and no little sadness.

  2. oh gay that brought tears to my eyes.. so tough.. i wished she could've chosen life for her little boy...

  3. Such a sad story but even sadder that in worrying about approval from others some parents make these choice for their teenage daughter...i've heard the story..up close and personal..

    and it's saddest..
    when the child was wanted..
    and discarded by others...

    who never really cared..about life..

    at all.

  4. Freckles, warts, old sun burns, moles--all turning dark & mysterious. For me a couple years ago, a mole became a cancer on my back; my wife saw it first; caught it in time. It is odd, strange, maddening that as our bodies age, there is such a proclivity of probable breakdowns, meltdowns, ruptures--stroke, heart attack, dementia, cancer, autoimmune dysfunctions--Christ, like watching the lovely old neighborhood you have lived in all your life turn into a dangerous ghetto, where you are in peril ad infinitum.

  5. From the skin's surface to the depths of our body and soul... a sad and perilous journey you describe there.

  6. How sad Gay ~ This gave me goosebumps ~ How our life choices define us and ultimately destroy us as well ~

  7. If others make decisions for us early on, it is a form of cruelty...we don't learn to survive on our own, except the hard way. How many times have we relived this story? The scary freckle is a great metaphor for the experience of giving up, hiding, or aborting a child.

  8. Wonderful Gay

    "Once she was without blemish
    But, she loved badly..." - Similar to Grace, I suspect you caught something there that made me quite emotional...

  9. Oh, this is so sad, Gay! Thinking about the cancerous blemishes & then the little boy...all removed. This poem tugs at my heartstrings.

  10. The parallels are so sad and rough.. reminds me of people talking about human beings as being the cancer of society... this goes so much further than a blemish.. that yet could destroy and kill... and it's never a case of black or white bit comes in much more than 50 shades of grey...

  11. Very powerful, Gay. I like the progression and how one grave thought brings on another one. The things we choose and those that we do not.

  12. Oh my, this is so poignant and so powerful, you brought a little tear to my eye. You are so right, life could be seen as a series of removals, always testing our strength, so hard, and yet, we survive. xoxo

  13. This is so sad--but such a wonderful write--layer upon layer

  14. my father has had over 100 surgeries now...little bits of tissue gone...ugh...imagine the weight of all that removed...the blemishes...there is a battle for identity when that starts to go....

  15. loved the message and passion in your lines... much to think of

  16. Sadly life can be amusingly unfair. Even with no blemishes one still cannot have it one's way! Great lines Gay!


  17. Many dreadful cruelties were done in the past "for our own good" and in the name of morality. This poem brings a tear.

  18. An odd comparison, likening a lost child to removal of a skin cancer. Tying them together makes the former seem more justified, making the reader wonder if we're somehow better off without the removals, no matter how dangerous or fatal they might be. That we can't just cut out who we are without becoming partial even to ourselves. What do baby boys lose when their foreskins are cut off? What is lost when its time take a dying daughter off life support? How deeply are the generations divided when parents make the wrong decisions for their children? When poets edit out the best lines to save the poem? Lots of such viciousness and singing wounds in this.

  19. there seems an eerie resolve to this...of course that could be due to how I hear it in my head...

    still a very intense write with a sense of underlying raw emotion.

  20. This is like a long stretch of sadness. A road where the trees hang without leaf and the rain begins on a cold blowy day.

  21. This is very moving...and such a unique write as you parallel the loss of two very different entities. Very sad, but thought provoking.

  22. Wow. This reeks of ache, beneath the surface and feeling like life is discarded tissues-, sharply written with precision and boldness.

  23. I actually giggled when I read this because I am one who has had scores of spots burnt, excised, chemically eradicated. I totally relate!

  24. The parallel is full of horror for me--truly an amazing poem and an unanswerable question.

  25. Something meant to "fix" a "situation"… often ends up haunting one for the rest of one's life. The question, of course, is who was the "fix" really for. So many betrayals, so many victims of "what others will think". Powerful poem - it really touched me.