A Waging War


Morgan Franklin

ocean calls to the young girl, and she answers in triumph.

Sand wiggled its way between her pale, painted toes, and

Seagulls screeched from the air above.

The waves were calm and quiet, while

Her thoughts were painful and loud.

The blood flowed in her veins, and

It felt hot like a volcano preparing to erupt.

She took deep breaths, in… out… in… out,

Slowly, agonizingly.


Her oxygen tank sat right next to her,

As if it were a loyal service dog,

Keeping her alive.

The petite brunette girl could feel

The ruthless cancer spreading,

Eating at her already weak lungs.

She was so young, at fifteen, and

Her life was only beginning, yet it was

Ending… disappearing.


The waves reached her feet, finally.

She closed her eyes and imagined

Being normal… healthy.

She could not remember being that way.

It had been too long since she had been

Diagnosed at nine years old.

Her imagination could not even

Create an image of that life.

The oxygen tank had been her best friend

For six years and counting.


Her eyes opened again, and

The burnt sun was setting for the night.

An ounce of courage floated into

The heart of the young girl.

She reached down, and unplugged herself

From the lifesaving oxygen tank.

Her lungs immediately hated her.

Her moment of freedom was needed, though.

Her raspy breaths came heavily,


Eventually, though, they calmed,

Very slightly, but they still calmed, and

That was all that she wanted to see.


Her lungs continued to protest, and

Curse her name in vain, but

She did not give in to their pleas.

The strength in her body in this moment was

A boulder that could not be underestimated.

She had not felt this unstoppable,

Since before she was diagnosed.

Pleasure and pride rippled through

Her entire body.


She was one baby step closer

To winning not only the battle,

But also the brutal war waging

Against her own self.