Saturday, October 22, 2011


This is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I have been wearing the pink ribbon on my blouse without thought.  It comes automatically for me.  In 1998 I lost my right breast to cancer.  No tears , please.

At Provident Hospital I facilitated a group called The Gratitude Group for Breast Cancer.  We met every Saturday for 5 years.  Our goal was to give support to survivors on a regular basis.  We found that once a month was not enough to address the issues of breast cancer.  Experts from throughout Chicagoland joined us.  We wanted the facts.  We all wanted the healing.  We wanted the emotional release. Eventually we expanded to include all cancers and opened our group to both men and families (children). I was supported and mentored by a city health worker, Mrs. Nadyne Griffin.

Our group was varied, consisting of wives, daughters, sisters, ministers, wealthy women, professional women, illiterate women, angry women and soft spoken women, women on welfare and working women, Christian women, Buddhist women, Muslim Women, Spiritualist Women, Straight and Gay women.   We bonded with a commonality.

Many of us were healed.  (The medical doctors say in remission.)  For some the cancer re-occured and for some there was death.  Through it all we learned to be grateful and to give thanks for our collective beauty.

I moved to Colorado and the group continued for another year.

In 2009 I returned to Chicago.  April, 2011 marked the second surgery to remove my left breast.  It was a different cancer that required a different set of drugs for treatment.  I was angry but recalled the Gratitude Group.  It was during the time of healing from the second cancer that I compiled  A book of love poems spanning almost 30 years. 

I am grateful to the ladies who attended the Gratitude Group for Breast Cancer.  The lessons continue to surround and sustain me.

A simple mammogram could simply mean your life.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Marshmellow Softness & Rock Hard Taffy

In the book Marshmellow Softness and ... the first poem Triumph mentions "both lean on the edge of anticipation as the romance unfolds" ((c)2011

In private communication a woman describes her attraction to another woman and the hesitation it involves - Take a peek at diary entries...

Joyce, what can I say, I'm addicted to dove, dark chock-a-lot.  This beautiful chocolate woman is my new neighbor.  I thought I would say hello new neighbor and was immediately intrigued by her look, so femmy and so masculine at the same time.  Ohhhlaa

I told you I was addicted to insanity, I hear my neighbor slamming doors again.  But what happens when a woman gets out of prison?  You the Social Worker Joyce, tell me.  Is there an issue with space?  Every evening I come home from work and her door is open.  As if inviting me to come in, to say hi, to visit.

You are right, nothing lasts forever, not even true love.  I know I have been obsessed by women in the past but never one who has lived so close to me.  I can see her, speak to her, smell her woodsy, flower essence perfume.

She asked me today to come and give her a massage.  I was so excited.  I was so uptight.  Just 2 girlfriends caring for each other is what I told myself.  But inside I was too excited.  She kept her clothes on and I gave her a massage to relieve the  tension of the day.  My tensions had only begun.  I wanted her to touch me in places my mama said were reserved for men only.  Does she know how I feel or am I fooling myself once again.

I think she has me under a spell.  She comes by my place evrery day just to ask me to go with her to her apartment.  We play music and discuss books and slow dance holding each other tight.  She never goes any further than I allow her to go and already I wonder if we have gone too far.  I am addicted to her and she to me.  She says she still loves the woman from prison days but I have never seen her.  All my evenings, up until bedtime, is spent with her.

This satin doll is absolutely mesmerizing. I must admit, she knows how to weave a love spell.  She has me caught and not even wiggling to be free.

She is a charmer, a real pimp-ess, a romantic woman at best.  She knows what to say to keep me coming.  She told me she could satisfy my need for women.  She said she could turn me out and keep me at her side.  Turn me out.  How scary the thought to be turned out.  What does that mean? How does it feel?  How is it different from being with a man?

How long can I keep her interest?  We kiss, waist up and she wants more but I insist it aint real loving  just playing around above the waist.  I guess all my religious training comes into play when it comes to women.  I so want to be with one.  I havent been with a man in 2 years.  I just long for a woman, try to get close and then run away.  Can she help me to stop running away.  Where is the fear and where is the love?    My  neighbor wants to love me so bad, but why?  Am I not deserving of the passion, more than just the thought?