by Ian Barker
(Omaha, NE, USA)
This is the reality worm that spits on your
breakfast so you lose your appetite.
This is the hitch-hiker who steals your
dreams whilst you sleep, scribbles out
days on your calendar and adjusts your
priorities without asking if it’s ok.
This is the bringer of a vain hope that
God exists, or that at least love really
can conquer all, despite the odds.
This is someone else’s epic battle that you’ve read
about and it loomed unplanned on your horizon
whilst you are still far too young and have so
many things left to do.
This is the teacher of new words, new statistics
and new ways of saying things, like “whipple” and
“procedure” and “chances” and “affairs in order”.
This is the pink ribbon and the races in
memory of you.
This is how you get to be yesterday’s
face in a photograph.
Fight It. Don’t give up.