Inspirational Poetry: Through a Cancer Thriver’s Eyes

October 2021

Author, Leslie Carrasquillo, brings hope, strength and meaning through her colorful poetry, using powerful symbolism and narrative to share her experience in coping with metastatic breast cancer.  Leslie is 68 years old and has been a metastatic breast cancer thriver since 2016.  She enjoys spending time with family, friends, and, communing with nature where she finds inspiration.  Leslie hopes to inspire other cancer thrivers with her poetry.


A New Day

Let the winds howl and blow around me trying to lift me off of my feet.

Let the boughs of the trees bend and moan trying to intimidate me with their thunderous sounds. 

Let the water rise around me in swirling torrents trying to dislodge my footing from this hallowed ground. 

For they cannot.

I am firmly planted, tall and upright.

I will not be intimidated by this storm. 

For tomorrow a new day will dawn and paint the sky in magnificent colors. 


The Space In-Between 

I have found a place I go when sleep eludes me.

In between the conscious and unconscious mind.

Where the physical plane drops away and time stands still. 

Where I float, untethered, in the vastness of the universe among the nebulae and am comforted. 

The black canvas of space providing a contrast to the brilliant lights and shapes that surround me with indescribable color.  

This place of nothingness, of peace, of solitude, where joy and gratitude creep silently into my being.  

I am in between today and tomorrow. 

In between what is and what will be.  

In between the dark and the light  where my own colors brightly shine and I find respite. 


Perfect Solitude

From this place of perfect solitude
I find strength and courage and hope.
Inspiration beckons me; flows through me.  Touches my heart, my mind, my soul.  

From this place of perfect solitude
I find the words to express what is buried deep within of joys and sorrows, triumphs and defeats.
The story waiting to be written; the symphony waiting to be played. 

From this place of perfect solitude
all of the unknown is known.
The would be’s, could be’s, should be’s present themselves in my mind’s eye.  Every forgotten moment; every future hope. 

From this place of perfect solitude
I find what I need to move forward without fear.
For in this place there is no enemy except the mind and mine has found its solitude. 


At the Realm of Time

She stood in darkness, at the realm of time, arms outstretched, reaching out into the unknown….waiting for what she was not sure.

Shadow in light or light in shadow.
It was hard to tell.

There was an urgency now to make things concrete in her mind but the means to do it eluded her. 

So there she stood, at the realm of time, arms outstretched into the darkness ….waiting.  

In light, there was shape and form and purpose.  In shadow, it was hazy and blurry like her mind.  If only clarity would return, she could grasp what she needed to do, but, it did not. 

So there she stood, at the realm of time, arms outstretched into the darkness…waiting. 

Unencumbered by the machinations of the mind, there was no way to tell how long she waited there.  It could have been a second or a millennium, standing at the realm of time.

All at once, with a clarity that had eluded her before, she knew… there was nothing concrete for her to grasp; no answer, for that was still unknown.   

So, there she stood, at the realm of time, arms outstretched into the darkness… waiting. 


Red Bird

A friend came back to see me today.
I noticed his brilliant red plumage  from the corner of my eye as he perched precariously on the thin tree branch for only a moment, before he flitted off. 

I heard his melodious call beckoning all those around to notice him as he hopped from fence post to gravel to chair.  His brilliant red feathers glinting like neon in the afternoon sun. 

I wondered why he moved so quickly from one place to the next, flitting here and there, always in a hurry like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, constantly looking at his watch, never wanting to be late. 

He comes every afternoon lately, just as the afternoon air cools and the sun starts its descent on the horizon.  

I wonder if he notices me sitting there quietly in the shadows, afraid to make a move lest I scare him off. 

I am thankful for his visits.
I envy his beauty, his energy, his confidence, his courage. 

I want to call out to him and ask him to return again tomorrow…
but he is already gone. 


I Wonder

I wonder how I ended up here
for any deviation from this path would have made me different;
would have changed the trajectory of my life.

I wonder if there is a me on another verse whose path has veered from mine; who lives as a different me.
The me I was before my life was forever changed.

I wonder if I was chosen to make this journey because I am the stronger one.  I am a warrior.  I am a survivor.

I wonder if my course can be altered?
But then it wouldn’t be my path, my journey, my life.
It would be someone else’s.