odd for the child
to fear drowning
when his life now is so long
stretching like taut ribbon in sun
he imagines like plain moths who drown themselves
in light emanating from dark
his own lifeless body buoyant on chlorinated pool
why he thinks of his death is anyone’s guess
perhaps the morbid humor of an intelligent mind
or the broken mosaic of life, beginning its downward cycle
once he asked his father, if the river levies bust
will I know I am dead before I am drowned or
will I wake in heaven first?
His father, a man who only worried about
whether his mistress was going to leave him for a younger man
did not spend time assuaging the boys fears
and he grew into a frightened soul who possessed
no mistress to sooth his night terrors
eventually even the hypochondriac will be right
maybe not this year
as she palpitates her breast for the forth time
crossing nervous fingers over heart, half prayer half search
malignancy her code red, flashing with every terrorizing headline
who invented social media? she mumbles beneath her breath
it was so much easier when we didn’t have access to all the maladies, we’ll one day die from!
Her hands cramp in late Winter cold, immediately she thinks
MS, MD, Fibromyalgia, the beginnings of CJD, maybe Parkinson’s
isn’t that a tremor? Or just too much coffee?
Her jittering nerves remind her, we are unable to compute
the exact day, hour, minute of expiry
all we know is our eventual death is an assured event
it’s the torment of those who are self-aware yet still ignorant
spinning in place, every migraine a brain tumor, every
sudden sharp pain a sign of pancreatic cancer, when a friend
discovers he has Multiple Myeloma (and he never touched asbestos his wife decries!)
she flicks through medical journals online searching for similarity
it’s not her wish to die, but a desire to live, control fate
keeping her on false tender hooks like owl without prey.
His life has been one of quiet dread, each day he inspects
the parts of him most likely to give out, checking his irregular heartbeat
the soft pounding of worry causing it to skip, feeling for swollen glands
skin cancers, lumps and bumps different from the day before
he knows his is an obsessive ritual, even as it soothes imagined
terrors, he sees the absurdity of living in fear bound to a wheel
perpetuated by hours spent researching ways of expiring
did you know you can develop throat cancer from invisible HPV
who knew love was such a sentence? He tells his eye-rolling neighbor.
If he counted the hours he took from his life
contemplating how he will die, when, what it will resemble
it’s quite mad
yet when he is lying in his childhood bed alone
impending dread crawling up his flannel spine
all he can hear are the waves calling
and then, a strange longing in him occurs
urging him to be done with bloody charades
join the onslaught and be carried out to sea
along with every child’s nightmare
and the stifled hiss of adults pressing their knuckles
closely to anguished mouths
for the pale mint waiting room seems
entirely too silent
an earie unsettled fog about it
7 thoughts on “eventually even the hypochondriac will be right”
Born to die?
Born to live?
Even ancient, giant trees
As old as Pyramids fall.
Our candle, so brief compared
The May Fly sees us
As we do the tree.
Everybody dies of something,
And sometime, and somewhere
Could we know
Would we choose to
(Could we resist?)
And then, forget
To return to trying to guess?
Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
TheFeatheredSleep – A certainty and imagined dreads
Now that is so true about hypochondriacs!
ha ha ha! 😉
Oh may flies. Yes. Could we resist? I wonder!
So very insightful
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