In memory of Maria Rodriguez, beloved professor at Mercer County Community College
Cancer, you don’t win. You never win.
You go as far as the body and under our feet.
You lose every time.
You are not faith or family,
healing or hero,
mentor, warrior, or legacy.
You go this far. You do not
enter the pearly gates.
You are not victorious.
You did not change her course
of gallantry, brilliance, and beauty.
You had no authority to tell her how to live.
Cancer, where is your sting now?
You messed with the wrong one.
She lived her life—
Her seed is sown.
About the author:
Lillian LaSalle has been a resident of Mercer County for over 28 years. She is the Executive Director of the Office on Aging for Lawrence Township and has been writing poetry since early elementary school. She was also a family friend of Maria Rodriguez, who worked for the EOF program and was a beloved professor at Mercer County Community College. Lillian states, “Brave soul Maria fought the good fight of faith against cancer.” Lillian’s poem, “Cancer, Where Is Your Sting?” was first published in CURE’s online magazine in early 2017 and is reprinted here with the author’s permission in honor of Maria Rodriguez.