Posted in Love Poems, poem, poems, poetry, Uncategorized

Surviving Breast Cancer

Breast cancer

I look at the flamingos,
Going from one limb to two wings.
I look at a woman, my wife, whose mastectomy
Made her go from two to one breast,
While her hospital gown had a little pink ribbon on it,
That broadcasted a stark reality,
That used to swell out from her chest.
And I walked to her, soon after the operation,
When she took off her hospital gown
And showed me where the cut was.
And I looked at her, partly
In pain, wondering what would happen
To me if my orchards were uprooted.
Empathy can be so harsh sometimes.

I realized that she stood beyond
That reasoning now, how even in the absence
Of a seemingly expelled feminineness,
She stood defiant, courageous and proud,
The little ribbon on her gown,
Told me how she was a survivor,
And I was now stuck in a defying moment,
Looking at where a pound of flesh
Used to be, knowing that I had
To be more of a man now, than ever before.
And so emptied of my wife’s breast,
I fell in love with her all over again.

How I grew to cup one phantom breast,
To feel a flat valley below
Her clavicle, the places that I still feel,
From the ridges of my ambidextrous fingers.
How she challenges my libido more now,
How in the deficiency of one breast, I still
See her as the complete woman. How I never
Really notice the stitch marks, or the deformations,
As we let passion control us,
Still in a well-lit bedroom, when I stare at her,
In the same fashion, as years before.
The surgeon’s knife could not carve out,
The passion that sweeps through us,
Like a tropical cyclone. How I grew to love her,
Like one of those one-legged flamingos,
In her recurring trysts, with
A pink brine shrimp.


Dr Dilantha Gunawardana graduated from the University of Melbourne, as a molecular biologist, and moonlights as a poet. He currently serves as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Botany, University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Dilantha lives in a chimeric universe of science and poetry. Dilantha’s poems have been accepted for publication /published in HeartWood Literary Magazine, Canary Literary Magazine, Boston Accent, Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry, Zingara Poetry Review, The Wagon and Ravens Perch, among others. Dilantha too has two anthologies of poetry, 'Kite Dreams' (2016) and 'Driftwood' (2017), both brought to the readership by Sarasavi Publishers, and is working on his third poetry collection (The Many Constellations of Home). Dilantha’s pet areas of teaching and research, include, Nitrogen Fixation, RNA biology, Phytoremediation, Agricultural Biology, and Bioethics & Biosafety. Dilantha blogs at – -, where he has nearly 2000 poems.

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