Song of My Breast

by Noralyn Masselink

About the author:

Noralyn Masselink is a Professor of English at SUNY-Cortland in central New York, a Pilates and Yoga instructor at the local YWCA, and the mother of three strong, creative, and determined daughters.  Her publications range from academic articles on language acquisition in adolescents and John Donne’s sermons to notes on email netiquette and grade inflation.  She rediscovered poetry during a tumultuous year which brought with it a diagnosis of stage three triple negative invasive ductile breast carcinoma.

While these are a few of her relevant facts, facts are bound to a particular space and time.  By contrast, Noralyn herself is boundless, eternal, too much.  Just as one’s professional accomplishments do not define a person, neither should a medical diagnosis.  In fact, no illness, no calamity whatsoever, need destroy us.  Noralyn believes that we hold “eternity in [our] hearts” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  If, then, out of the fullness of our hearts, our mouths speak (Luke 6:45), we can always speak life.

Her poems have appeared in Red Fez, TWJ Magazine, RiverLit, and Fishfood Magazine.

From the author:

While undergoing treatment for triple negative breast cancer, I was amazed that despite nearly total physical debilitation at times, the poetic muse never completely forsook me.  Writing these poems felt life giving – the power of wit, metaphor, and the other paraphernalia of poetry being mightier than the surgeon’s scalpel, an IV drip, and radiation’s rays — yes, even mightier than cancer’s cancer.

$15 US
Chapbook - 29 poemsChapbooks.html

Cover Art by Endira Davis

Table of Contents


Context is everything


Northeast Medical Resort and Spa

Post-surgery Senryū


Two for the price of one

Saving Face and Keeping Abreast

ICD-9 Code 972.9

The Virgin Poke, central venous access



The Bald Facts

Haute Coiffure

Chemotherapy Riddle

Doxorubicin: Round Three

Why are they called “Rounds”?

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Cross Application

Blood Counts

In the time of chemo

Taxus brevifolia

Taxane Thumbscrews


Radiation Oncology

Euphemism at its worst

Morgue Storage Shelf

Awaiting Resurrection

Song of My Breast

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The Lives You Touch Publications

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