Loretta Walker, poet

Loretta Walker is a music teacher at Reagan Elementary School, but she is also a well-known poet.

Walker has multiple honors and one of them is the Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for her book of poetry “In this House.”

She has kindly given us permission to share one of her poems, in the hopes it will give strength and comfort.



Testimony of my Right Breast

This day knows it’s a has-been,

dusky hands cling to the last ropes of light.

A large arm of orange grows across the sky,

stains the wide roof of Odessa.

Summer, this city is a chimney; heat burns

through the open flue of night.

A cocktail of Juniper Breeze and sweat

rolls across a budding tumor.

Wet beads trickle where the surgeon’s scalpel,

chemo and rays of radiation will scar, scorch me.

This is my confession of hope,

not Emily Dickinson’s feathered hope,

a muscled feral hope with powerful teeth to seize

and slice the flesh of this fierce fear roaming inside me,

I (will) live after the blade, drip of chemo, laser heat

singe, lump my skin. How does the left breast see me now?

My host sees a deformity; I am a redbird fluttering

in the rough hands of healing.


Loretta Diane Walker is a three time Pushcart nominee. She has published three collections of poetry. Walker’s work has appeared in a number of publications. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. She teaches music in Odessa, Texas. Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from the University of Texas Permian Basin.

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