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by Karen Jane Glenn

On the library bulletin board
I see a notice for a club
on facing death. It isn't for the dying
but a goad to the well
"to be actively alive as if
this year could be your last."

Ten years ago, the doctor said,
"Karen, I won't let you die."
Until her words, I'd never thought
it was a possibility. They talk
about "survivors" being brave.
I wasn't. I sleepwalked through it alló
chemo, cutting, throwing up, lost breast,
bald head.

My friend Kathy said that in her cancer year,
red was redder, breezes sweeter.
But when it was finally over,
she was glad not to have to appreciate
each and every damned flower.
Afterwards, she said, it brought her joy
to stand and curse a subway train
that passed us by.

"The Club" was originally published in New Millenium Writings.

Karen Glenn, a Colorado writer and poet who has read on "All Things Considered", has been cancer-free for 14 years.