The Reluctant Butterfly
I had a hunk of skin cut out of me —
a cancer — set to do my body harm.
The doctor was decisive as can be
and diagnosed and sliced and stitched my arm.
It made me think of my mortality,
and realise that I’m clinging to this skin.
My emphasis is not eternity,
nor is it nurturing my soul within.
One day I’ll shed all of my skin, I know.
But before then there is much I need to do —
I’ve sons to raise. I’ve places still to go.
And Lord, I’ve got my mission work for you.
How ludicrous to think that it’s too soon
to leave the dark confines of my cocoon.
— Angela Harding
(Sonnet written after the removal of a melanoma from an arm in March 2011)