A Poem Written During A Teaching Workshop

My July Anniversary


Two years of surviving a guileful beast I came to believe was mine to tame

Cancer, claimed, known, accepted

Part of me had to be released

Cut, removed, autopsied, and poisoned


This second year, post-surgery and chemotherapy, so comparatively easy

A quiet dread during tests and waiting for results

A lack of strength, stamina, and confidence

A surprising sadness



Spiraling around and above year one,

Nothing a nice glass of chardonnay couldn’t soften

Nearly silent


So much to be grateful for…just imagine

No one died for months

No one I was acquainted with

Even my old dog pulled through


Counseling…grief counseling, marriage counseling, cancer counseling… sought and found

Enormous relief

Renewed belief in my ability to teach, and renewed love in the mission

Love in every opportunity


Family ties

Accepting lies, forgiving

Learning to say hello

And good-bye


A massive urge to travel to unknown places



Shedding the poverty

Simply shedding any acceptance of being sucked into quicksand, debt and despair

Cultivating a habit of climbing, climbing, embracing the mountain

Insisting on comfort, beauty, and enrichment


Living in a waking body, nearly normal

Moving again in long strides on strong legs


Hope, reborn, is an amazing thing

Closer to God than anything I know

Running through

Spilling over

Kissing the world




                                                          Rachel “Lori” Pohlman, July 2013



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