Lines — A Wildfire Poem

December 1, 2022

The lines
that are starting
to appear
on my
don’t bother me
as much as
I thought
they would
I guess
could indicate
that I’m tired
(I am)
or that
I’ve weathered impossible things (I have)
But lines
also indicate
I get
is more
than I thought
I would
more than
I thought
I could
I celebrate
laugh lines
crow’s feet
I welcome
these lines
and the
that put them
And I celebrate
the wrinkles
and gray hair peeking through Because
these things
(that no one wants) these things
let me believe
get to
grow old

Amy Austin • Academic librarian. Diagnosed at 34. IDC, Stage IV de novo, ER+, HER2+. Amy was initially misdiagnosed with a complex benign cyst. She is the third in a direct family line to be diagnosed with breast cancer without a known genetic link.

She loves cooking and baking (especially bread), knitting, and curling up with a good book and a mug of tea. She has a knack for finding lucky pennies. Amy lives with her husband and son in Florida. • @amy_r_austin

This piece has been republished with permission from WILDFIRE Magazine, the “MBC: Legacy Stories” issue, published originally October 8, 2022. More information available at    

WILDFIRE Magazine is the only magazine for young women survivors and fighters of breast cancer under 45 years old. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, California, WILDFIRE is a beautiful, story-based bi-monthly magazine published on different themes relevant to young women survivors, from stage 0 to stage IV. Beautiful and ad-free! Visit for more info.

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