Whistle of a distant train

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
Experiencing cancer

Submitted: January 31, 2008

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Submitted: January 31, 2008

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Below the horizon

of consciousness it starts,

barely perceptible,

the vague whistle of a distant train.

Then grows with the

slowness of a glacier,

drawing stark awareness

from the furthermost boundaries,

tributaries flowing to a single point.

 

Visceral it builds,

hot like shrapnel,

agony slicing inward.

Or -

Roman short-sword

thrust upward under ribs,

and then twisted before withdrawal

for maximum effect.

 

Exhausting episode

replayed with regularity.

Building, explosive,

overwhelming pain -

bite the leather strap

and inward scream,

silently,

secretly,

so as others not to dismay,

while sweat pours down

cascading life away.

 

Preparing to metastasise,

pushing organs to one side;

a ripening poisoned mushroom,

its lethal spores to be carried

on the bloodstream’s fluid wind,

seeking cellular soils to root

and grow again.

 

Pernicious anaemia,

bleeding inward,

the heart shall fail -

or else the mind go mad.

Chalk-pale

the grimace

in the mirror.

Lurking on the edge

of vision,

madness perhaps the

better option.

 

Its not my death I fear;

Christ has paid for that,

it’s the dying

that leaves me so unimpressed.

And as a dear, and departed

friend had said –

‘Does it always take

this long

to die?’

 

So, by choice

I lay upon a steel table,

and let some surgeon

spread my viscera upon

the green and sterile sheets,

that lethal tumour to exhibit.

And I shall,

like Lazarus,

come forth;

humbled,

dependent,

but still living.

Grateful,

- oh, most grateful -

that the lethal mushroom

had not yet

sent its subversive spores abroad.

 

 

 

 

James Gagiikwe © 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2017 James Gagiikwe. All rights reserved.

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