1. Malalur, Pannaga MD

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Stars in the Storm

Shivering and sobbing,


two women,


two complete strangers,


stand facing the storm-


Both with bodies bruised and battered


from cruel seasons that have seen


the turmoil of the bitter tempest of


surgery, chemo, radiation


and the agony of an avalanche of


despair and loneliness.




with trembling voices and


fluttering fingertips, they


reveal to each other their scars:


Scars on their bodies;


Scars on their souls.


Recognizing in each other the


same strange curiosities


silhouetted in light,


they begin to blossom.


A few moments later,


they are comfortable dancing-


Initially hiding behind curtains


and locked doors.


Taking a deep breath, they


step out into the sun,


Start to walk, then run


until they take flight


on wings of hope and courage;


Lighting up the darkening sky


Like the brightest of stars.


Pannaga Malalur, MD, is a resident in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas. She wrote the poem after a conversation with two cancer survivors at a cancer walk-"their courage and outlook motivated and inspired me."

Pannaga Malalur, MD.... - Click to enlarge in new windowPannaga Malalur, MD. Pannaga Malalur, MD