I Am No Longer Afraid

Deena Metzger
From: Her Soul Beneath the Bone: women's poetry on breast cancer (Edited by Leatrice H. Lifshitz), University of Illinois Press, 1988

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I am no longer afraid of mirrors where I see the sign of the
amazon, the one who shoots arrows.
There was a fine red line across my chest where a knife
entered, but now
a branch winds about the scar and travels from arm to heart.
Green leaves cover the branch, grapes hang there and a bird
appears.
What grows in me now is vital and does not cause me harm.
I think the bird is singing.
I have relinquished some of the scars.
I have designed my chest with the care given to an illumi-
nated manuscript.
I am no longer ashamed to make love. Love is a battle I
can win.
I have the body of a warrior who does not kill or wound.
On the book of my body, I have permanently inscribed a tree.