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By Grace Przywara

2nd Place, Poetry, Create | Encounter 2022

for Sheryl Grossman

The first time doctors tried to call it off,

I was still being knitted,

and a dropped stitch on one of my genes

looked an awful lot to them like tragedy:

a short, quiet, still life. Knit on, knit on.

Like a bud, I grew and grew

and the cancer did, too, and by my bed,

she said, You know, you don’t have to do this

anymore. It won’t take long. And in my softness,

in my smallness, barely conscious,

I asked her to leave the room.

Let me bloom—

I was doubted then and I’ll be doubted

again so please don’t ask me to doubt myself.

Despite its toil, I love my life:

I’m here to flourish. I’m worth the fight.

Artist Statement:

“Bloom” is an homage to disability rights activist Sheryl Grossman (1975–2022). I tried to tell this part of her story as succinctly, respectfully, and poetically as I could.


Disclaimer: The views presented in the Rehumanize Blog do not necessarily represent the views of all members, contributors, or donors. We exist to present a forum for discussion within the Consistent Life Ethic, to promote discourse and present an opportunity for peer review and dialogue.

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