Epiphany

by HemmingPlay

When the sun comes up like thunder

I knew a guy.
Cancer survivor,
worn down to the lacy bone,
thin, with dry skin.
But a light shone through
his stretched parchment skin
like some kind of
organic fire.
The brush with death
left a calling card.
“I’ll be back” it said.
“You won’t know when.”

He knew what
it meant to nearly end.
An epiphany, of sorts.
On to the
bonus round!
But there was a
glow, as though
he’d just slap the shit
out of whatever was left.
As serious as
a heart attack,
he was.
Afraid of
being forgotten,
Of not being worth
remembering.

It doesn’t have to be cancer.
Could be a stroke, like me.
The kind of thing,
looking for a metaphor,
you try to explain,
but they never understand:
“I could hear the whine of the bullet,
the ugly sound of something
ruthless
hunting you, meaning to kill.”
But it misses, now and then.
You realize
you’ve got bonus time,
but you
fear being forgotten;
you’ve wasted so much time.
but that fire …
You mean to slap the shit
out of whatever is left.
Make some noise.
Burn some rubber.
Write a poem that
makes someone cry,
Makes someone happy.
Be honest.
Be true.
Repent wasting
a precious time.
It’s an epiphany, of sorts,
hearing death whiz by.
It lights a fire.
And you live sweeter,
cleaner,
by the light it makes.

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One Comment to “Epiphany”

  1. So true. I really like the line “slap the shit out of whatever’s left” because that sums up the survivor mindset perfectly.

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