Monday 4 February 2019

Joker in the Pack: A poem for #WorldCancerDay

Joker in the Pack

It’s World Cancer Day
Hip hip hooray
For those who’ve kept cancer at bay
There is light
And another day

For those of us
Who have lost
A relative or two, or three
We cannot count the cost
Cancer is the devil we fear
Made manifest, bodily, clear

For those of us
Who hold the hands
Of sufferers throughout the land
Who sit besides the beds of those
For whom the devil randomly chose
We salute you every one
From Macmillan nurses
To mother’s sons

I’ve thought about it long and hard
As I’ve shuffled my deck of cards
Cancer is from the devil
And not from God
Align with the devil, at your peril
Fight him with all that is good
Make him see you’ve understood
Refuse to shake his hand
Scare him off until he’s off the land

There is an ace in every pack
Also a joker, primed for attack
From the greatest to the small
The devil wants to eat us all
(A mutual enemy, for tall and small)
Fight him, with your will
And, for research, with your cash

Meanwhile, as you breathe your sigh of slight relief
Embrace every day, this is chief
Leave all that is toxic, send it away
Even mother, brother, sister, wife
Leave all of those who’ve harmed your life
The only life for which to pray
Or the one that will hold sway
Is the one with meaning
Your quest and mine
Presided over by father time

But hurry up, the cards are calling
No righteous cells left to consume
Once cancer has left the room
Here am I with a salutary shout:
Disobey the cultural rules
That make people behave like fools
Find time to think about what it’s all about
A life misspent is a waste of time
And really is a heinous crime