Mascara…A Poem From Wildfire

I am forced to see

Just me

The most naked I’ve been

Unable to hide behind my lashes

I see you

I see you in all your beauty

Mascara I miss you


I wake each day and I see me

But the image that I see is somehow unrecognizable

But I force the images I see

into make-believe

I pretend every day that I have no scars

That I see no illness

I grab my mascara and apply

The days I feel ugly

The days I don’t see me

I still grabbed my mascara and apply

A woman should never start her day without it

I found beauty in that dark lashes

I found beauty in the way it made my dark circles look

It managed to hide the eyes that wanted to stay closed

But it also painted my cheeks when it moved down my face

It gave me something when everything else was getting taken away

It gave me control when I had none

It gave beauty when I saw none

Waking up to put my eyes on

Mascara where are you

But but lashes

Where are you

Scared and vulnerable I see this image and she is not me

Standing face to face with this stranger



I am unable to use you

Unable to paint you

How do I wake to my days now

How to I hide

So I stand facing me

Telling myself that I will wake each day a new

And tell the image that I see

That you are beautiful today

You are beautiful every day

And no mascara in this world will change that

So I will wake each day and stare at the image that is unrecognizable

Until one day she winks back and says, hello stranger

it’s been awhile.


How I have missed you

Tawny Rachelle. Diagnosed at 39, IDC stage ll ER+ Tawny was in a car accident in which her car was t-boned and totaled. Dealing with the normal aches and pains that followed, she accidentally discovered a lump in her right breast. After a double mastectomy and living breastless she is concentrating on getting back into her career as a hairdresser and make-up artist. She has been enjoying creating since 2001. Her love for hair is not the only creative outlet Tawny has. She enjoys art in all its forms. From paint on canvas to ink on paper she tries to, as she would say, make her soul happy. @itsjustahiccup.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been shared with permission from the author. It will appear in the upcoming WILDFIRE Magazine 2019 “Self-Care” issue (Vol 4, No 2, to be published April 2019 by Wildfire Community LLC). More information available at

Every month, Rethink will be sharing powerful stories and poetry from WILDFIRE Magazine. Use code RETHINK for 10% off anything in the WILDFIRE Shop.

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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