Silver Threads

Silver threads woven through my hair 
where once I defied my true age
an etching of lines on a weathered face 
leaving a map of where I’ve been.

For a pandemic raging and a cancer in my breast 
have done their damage and left me
-naked, for this disease changed, rearranged
a self-confessed charlatan who tried to age with grace
washed away all the masks, left no trace
-exposed stark beauty under skin.

And now my words, my thoughts, my feelings
all elements of my entire being
– coming from a different place
for pain peels away layers of self-preservation
leaving a yearning for a simple life again 
to bask in the sun’s warmth caressing my face
and not think of battles raging within.

©2020 Linda Lee Lyberg

dVerse Poets Pub: Poetics Self PortraitCome and Take a Selfie!

Linda Lee Lyberg is a wife, mother, artist, published poet and author. She resides in Mesa, AZ with her husband Pete (aka The Big Viking) of 24 years, and her dog, Ricky Bobby. Linda writes various forms of poetry, as well as short stories. You can read more of her works at:
and purchase anthologies containing her work here: Amazon Author Page

43 Comments on “Silver Threads

  1. Beautifully done. And might I add, you are, without a doubt, a beautiful warrior and one with many supporters by her side! Even some you cannot see 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is very raw and brave, Linda. I hope you are finding writing helpful in making sense of your feelings. This was the key line for me: pain peels away layers of self-preservation – utterly true, very powerful.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree with Sarah, raw and brave indeed. I love the idea of faces as maps of where we have been but felt the sadness that the pandemic and the cancer gave you no choice in the matter. The simple life is good, a chance to gather your thoughts and redraw your map.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also love this line, “pain peels away layers of self-preservation.” Sometimes the body holds all it can bear and needs a release, come what may. Linda, day by day until the 10 more counts down to zero and beyond. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve always loved silver hair … I had a double mastectomy 2012 and am fully recovered, so hang in there! It’s not easy but you can heal, we each gotta find our own way ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oy. It’s hard to say one “likes” this piece when one has come to know and care about its creator, which I do.

    But I like it and admire its author for her ability to be far more selfie-ish than I could ever muster.
    Beautiful work indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Like stones weathered in their passage downstream from mountaintop, we are polished and honed, our faces speaking of life lived well. Your supporters are legion and our prayers many.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are a helluva writer Linda! This is marvelous. 🙂 Yes, this life, and all its battles and victories, journals itself into our visage. But that is the wealth of living, that beautiful weathered truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love best “exposed stark beauty under skin” – which is the truest beauty of all, there when everything superficial has been stripped away. Awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I also have the badge of silver had and had to deal with cancer. Lovely writing. I had trouble writing during my treatment, but back at it now. Best of health to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is poignant. The first stanza got my attention and made me want to read more, particularly “lines on a weathered face
    leaving a map of where I’ve been.”
    Also, I LOVE this: “pain peels away layers of self-preservation”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is so powerful, open and honest, full of strength. I wish you well fighting those ‘battles raging within.’ I love how through your battles you have discovered the ‘stark beauty under skin.’ I also love the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a great poem Linda. Your heartfelt honesty and the reality of life all came together in a very beautiful way. Yes pain and illness change us forever and influence our thinking and being from then on. Hope all is well with your treatments and you. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love your opening stanza, from “silver threads” to “leaving a map.”
    And your last stanza shows your strength in this battle. A silent battle, but a battle nonetheless.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: