Thursday, January 24, 2008

POEM - To A Young Girl With AIDS

Too young to know any better,
you told me how getting Aids was a blessing, how it purified you.
You,who are held ransom by these streets you mistake as family
reared on abuse and addiction,
You now tell me how privileged you are to be touched to by this disease
by a God swollen with retribution for all your sins.

You welcome the endless drug cocktails,
the dizzying schedules with doctors,

You've grown adept at the flirtatious dance with pneumonia .
You are grateful for it all.

What could I say?

I could tell you there is no cosmic ledger waiting
to record graces and failures like debits and credits.
I could tell you that when we cross over, there will be no bank note due;
no repo-man, no bill collector harvesting I.O.U.s.

I could tell you all of this, but I don't

Instead, I just listen,
Instead, I hear the joy in your voice,
as if you had won the lottery.

Which would be easier for me to say:
“You, my dear child, are a misguided loon”,
or “Go – your faith has made you whole”?

It is as if the angel Shushienae descended:
and taken up residence in you.

Secretly, I wanted you to lay hands upon me
and issue the benediction:

“As it is: not as we wish it to be,
As it is: not as we work for it to be.”


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home