Introspective Collective
a collection of letters


White Stag

Photo by Joanna Lampa

Photo by Joanna Lampa

I met Jane when she began dating her now husband, Jeremy. We laughed together in the parking lot, while our partners were inside practicing rock music; on their show days, we'd sell their merch, counting bills and tallying sales. She was there for me when Ricky was hospitalized, and drove with us when we visited Nashville for the first time–this gift of a friend. We've written poetry and painted together. Her writing is always such a delight to read for it's always honest and real.

She holds a floodlight personality, soul bursting in yellow blooms. 

White Stag

by jane claudio

What a wild story this is
That cancer that came to destroy me
But instead has gifted me with something
Irreplaceable, Irreversible

I should have been shattered
So why do I feel myself becoming invincible?

My hair has been washed down the drain
My breasts are in the garbage behind the hospital
Next to a half-finished ranch salad

Twenty-five pounds of my body have melted off
Eight months of my life have come and gone while I was sleeping
So yes, I do find it strange that I am feeling so powerful

It’s because I saw with my own eyes what we all are asking for

I saw proof that God is kind
And that if I fall, someone will catch me
If I was an empty well, people would still gather
Not to take, but to give

I saw with my eyes
The white stag that we all stubbornly hope for
What we muster up the strength to believe in
Unconditional Love

Now that I have fallen farther than I thought possible
And never hit the ground
I cannot return to being who I was before
I have seen too much

Photo by Joanna Lampa

Photo by Joanna Lampa

Jane Claudio is a future cancer survivor in Nashville, Tennessee. She uses writing as a cure for loneliness and a magnifying glass for the beauty we experience every day. She is also shares her words through songwriting, with her work being accessible at

Jane also has a GoFundMe account,