One Life at a Time

by Celestina Waters
(Anacortes, Wa)

Oh not that joke again!
My step dad told the worst yarns
Making the family roll their eyes
In mock exasperation
Truly we are all laughing inside

For twenty years my step dad suffered
His liver necrosed from toxic chemicals
Doctors experimentally removed most organs
No small intestine, no colon, no gallbladder,
Nothing that would encourage his liver to function

To dance with death on a daily basis
One must become intimate with life.

He got to know his body, the do's and can's
Deciding to tempt fate as fast as he could
With each new activity he flaunted proof
That he could out run and out last the end.

Though his liver turned angry
And his skin and eyes turned yellow
He forgot the punchlines to his worst jokes
Days became nights became days
He held on tight to his final breath
He held on tight to

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