He woke with “Danny Boy” stuck inside his head
and forced himself to get up while his body screamed
from it’s every part, “stop moving!”.
The chemo had done it’s part,
he was suitably exhausted
and looked the part of Karloff’s stand in.
He was as tight from head to toe
as an old war-drum.
The heart inside him beat
as one with that drum, to just drive him
on to write the last letter he would ever put to paper.
With a shaking and greenish hand, and by the glow of the monitor,
he began to type the words he would leave behind:
“I am done., let it have me”
With a trembling finger,
He struggled to press “print” on the screen;
but after a time, he was able to stop the shaking
and print the note that would explain everything.
Turning off the screen he caught a glimpse of himself.
Bald, for the most part, emaciated as a broom handle,
and shaking as a leaf shakes when it is about to fall.
The letter sat on the printer.
The gun was tight in his hands.
Tight as on old drum head.
I weighed, to him, as if he were underwater
and trying to lift an arm against the pressure.
But he lifted it.
He saw his cat, the only company or soul that cared,
sleeping in the corner and thought “sleep my love,
they will find you. You’ve been a good friend”:
It took strength to cock the hammer.
More than he had.
:Thanks chemo, and thank you , you cancerous whore”
to no one in particular.
No on had come for months to see him,
and he was tired–so tired.
He was tired of rushed trips to the bathroom,
and too many failures on the way.
He was tired of the black blood that ran when he coughed.
He was tired of the searing pain that now was his world.
He was tired.
When the shot rang out,
the cat still slept
and the monitor, now shattered as a mirror of pain,
wept it’s glassy tears for the one
who had given the words that it longed to see again.
But would not.
However, He was tight as an old drum head.
and drifting on a sea of green;
–as green as the chemo, yet calm and warm.
He was at peace….
and alone in that peace,
as “Danny Boy” sung across the waves.