To My Cyst

Composer Hayley Jenkins, poet Carole Bromley

Flu set you going
like a ticking bomb,
growing, growing
in the cramped space
between skull and brain
which I imagine
as like a crack in a tunnel
where a buddleia
tries to flourish.
You see them from trains,
that urge to grow,
or mushrooms in a shed.
You had food and water;
you would make it.
I was your host,
me, this me that cries
and loves and is typing
these black letters
on infinite space.

From Sodium 136, Calder Valley Poetry

To My Cyst (2020) is an autobiographical ode to a brain tumour after surgery by York poet Carole Bromley. It reflects upon how the process of diagnosis and treatment instils a sense of anxiety. This anxiety is captured in the ambiguity of tonality and irregular metre. As the poem becomes more reflective and the anxiety subsides, the piece becomes more lyrical and more settled as the persona is filled with relief that her sight is restored and she can continue to write her poetry.

To My CystComposer Hayley Jenkins, poet Carole Bromley
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