I love the break of day.
The air is fresh and streets are empty.
The kitchen table wobbles uneasily
As we lean on it, each in turn.
It must be two years now that I have been meaning
to fix it. She asked me to go over it again.
He said it could be Parkinson’s
Or it could be “Parkinsonism,” whatever the hell
that means. He said he wanted to be sure
before saying more. I think that it would be better to know the worst
now than to wait two more weeks. It’s the not knowing that’s a killer.
I tell her that there is a certain part of me that would rather face
The real deal than some flimsy imposter. A flash of anger
rose in her face. She told me not to talk like that.
I looked over her shoulder, out through the window.
That damned squirrel was at the bird feeder again.
I feel small. I think of all the beauty
in the world. How is it that such a grand
stage is reserved for such ordinary
players? Who really cares?
What does it matter?
Somehow, the world will continue spinning
Whatever my diagnosis.
I think that if there were a ranking of diseases
From worst to least worst,
Surely Parkinson’s would be among the least worst;
At least it’s treatable. At least you can manage
for a while before it all goes to hell.
Colon cancer: that would be the worst.
Anything involving the colon, really.
But then I think that’s stupid.
Just because someone has Parkinson’s
Doesn’t mean he or she won’t get colon cancer
too. I look down into my coffee,
As if I might find some answers among the shimmering,
eddies. I can do this; at least I know how to exercise,
I offer weakly.
I get up from the table and stare
Out the window. I see the sun peeking
Its nose above the horizon, just as my daughter
would do with her bedsheet when I would read her a scary
story. I give a distracted kiss
and continue out the door. The squirrel, now on a branch
looks down upon me. flicking his tail as I refill
the feeder. I continue to my car.
I pull out of the driveway.
It’s still early. The day is still full of possibilities.
I love the break of day.
The air is fresh and streets are empty.
This poem was written in response to a poetry challenge on Parkinson’ That is, to write a poem with the first two lines, (i.e., “I love the break of day/ The air is fresh and streets are empty/”) lines as a prompt.

Christopher Lion

Christopher Lion is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was a Managing Director at The Mather Group and Chief ...more