On August 3, 2005, I had a partial mastectomy.
Today, August 3, 2012, I celebrate seven years of being cancer free.
I am grateful.
This tea, this cup of tea, made of leaves,
made of the leaves of herbs and absolute
almond blossom, this tea, is the interpreter
of almond, liquid touchstone which lets us
scent its true taste at last and with a bump,
in my case, takes me back to the yellow time
of trouble with blood tests, and cellular
madness, and my presence required
on the slab for the surgery, and all that mess
I don't want to comb through here because
it seems, honestly, a trifle now that steam
and scent and strength and steep and infusion
say thank you thank you thank you for the then, and now.
(Poem from the book Ten Poems about Tea)