Shawn Aveningo

Rookie - 13 Points (4-5-65)

Pink Ribbons - Poem by Shawn Aveningo

One lump or two?
Ma'am….your coffee?
One lump or two?
Such an innocent question
uttered hundreds of times
in tea rooms, coffee houses,
restaurants, airplanes.

Today, those words
had the power
to bring her to her knees.
No amount of chamomile
or honey capable
of soothing her pain.
She was drowning
in a sea of sorrow,
fearful of what
tomorrow would bring.

How could she face
this new reflection,
scarred, disfigured?
What would she see
reflecting in his eyes?
He said he would always
love her, no matter what.
He said she would always
be beautiful to him,
but this....this
isn't what crosses your
mind, vowing in
sickness and health.

Each day she'll carry on,
with a stiff upper lip
and pink ribbons in her hair,
stuffing the prosthetic
into her bra, no longer
adorned with sheer lace.

She'll march with an
army of women.

She's grateful to be
among the living,
a survivor as she's
now known. But she misses
her curves, even if sometimes
they sagged. She misses
the tingling of her nipples
when her husband held
her in his arms. She
misses feeling like a woman.
She misses feeling
whole.

Ma'am?
One lump or two?
She replied,
Oh, No Thank You.
No lumps for me.

{First published in Wait a Minute, I Have to Take Off My Bra! by Inkspotter Publishing, Canada 2011}


Comments about Pink Ribbons by Shawn Aveningo

  • Veteran Poet - 1,289 Points Jaishree Nair (4/6/2015 10:14:00 PM)

    Lovely write. Touched my heart to the core.Life is not always a bed of roses.The ugly side sometimes lifts its head up.Its up to us to brave the ordeal and survive. Beautifully captured the emotion and I could literally feel the pain.Thank you (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Veteran Poet - 1,953 Points Brian Stafford (4/6/2015 1:09:00 PM)

    A very moving and touching poem! well done and well deserved poem of the day! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 14,034 Points Kim Barney (4/6/2015 7:36:00 AM)

    Wonderful poem. Nobody could have expressed this any better than you have done. Congratulations on having it selected as poem of the day. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 651 Points Jeannette Heywood (4/6/2015 7:21:00 AM)

    Very moving and empathetic. I have nursed women who expressed these exact feelings. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,303 Points John Richter (4/6/2015 7:03:00 AM)

    Incredibly sad poetry, absolutely heart breaking. Pity we live in a physical world, more-so our pretense that the heart is not the center of that physicality..... it most certainly is. I don't know why God separated our souls in the manner he did, with the most long held belief that man/woman constitute a single soul. But it must have something to do with gaining sensitivity to others, or abhorring the idea that love would fade due to something as physical as a removed breast. Even more powerful than that is the underlying notion that a woman, any woman, would need to feel ashamed of such.... Your poem is beautiful, and what I'm about to say is no reflection on that. You penned this in the exact perfect way. But there are simply no words in any language that can come close to describing the absolute beauty of a woman's soul - or her delicate thoughts arising as a need to balance what she is - the expanse of herself - and this physical life she is trapped within. That's the thing, and that is what I see in your most apt poem here...... Very well done poet.... (Report) Reply

    Gold Star - 14,034 Points Kim Barney (4/6/2015 7:47:00 AM)

    John, it sometimes scares me that you and I think so much alike. Almost every time I go to make a comment, I have to refrain from making it because you have already made it!
    My wife and I will be traveling the next few days and I may not be able to get access to a computer, so you are going to have to make comments for both of us!

  • Veteran Poet - 1,711 Points Noreen Carden (4/6/2015 6:37:00 AM)

    Wonderful poem beautifully written Shawn congratulations on poem of the day well deserved (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,310 Points Jasbir Chatterjee (4/6/2015 5:54:00 AM)

    I can feel the excruciating pain expressed in this poem and I can understand how bad it must feel. Thanks for sharing, Shawn, and all I can say is that yes, It is great to be alive at least. Lumps or no lump, it hardly matters. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 9,565 Points Kelly Kurt (4/6/2015 2:45:00 AM)

    A wonderful poem, Shawn. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Peace. (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 18, 2014

Poem Edited: Saturday, October 18, 2014


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