i don’t really know her

“wow!” she says, a usually safe greeting

it is my creeping journey

balanced by my cheap aluminum walker

that has caught her interest

“what happened,” she presses

“you don’t want to know,” i say

“it’s an ugly story.”


“tell me anyway!” she says

so i do


when i say “cancer” something happens with her eyes

and her body moves almost imperceptibly

putting a bit of distance between us

now i am not quite the person i was just a moment before


where is your leper’s bell?

the wagon, the crier going before

“bring out your dead.”



if you don’t have it

haven’t had it

or know someone who does

and you must know what is going on

be ready to also know

what is going on with you

7/18 LV
Copyright Michael Douglas Scott