October 21, 2015

Intimation of Mortality: Conversation with a Tumor

I asked my Cancer, “Why,” and like
a mountaineer it answered me, “Because.”
“But don’t you know,” said I,
“that when you kill me, you will die?”
The Tumor paused, then shrugged, and said,
“That’s life... I mean, we all have purposes,
reasons to exist, a will to live, and, sure,
a sell-by date. My goals are simple,
largely to enlarge, to spread, to colonize.
I realize you are the limits of my world,
and when I’ve built my empire, it will end.
That is my purpose, that’s my goal in life.
But while I am about it, let me ask,
Are you as eager to engage your task?
What is it, anyway? If just to ‘be’
what makes you any different from me?”
I thanked my Cancer for his wise advice,
but still allowed the surgeon to excise
my Tumor... conscious now to spend
a life in purpose lived, before it end.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
October, 2015

Update and disclaimer: This poem represents an imagined conversation from ten years ago. It came to me in a flash as a poem this past week, but the context is that I have been cancer-free for a decade now, and hope to so continue for at least one, or maybe two, more, other health and vitality permitting, and always under God's care and to God's glory!

1 comment:

JCF said...

I'm just reading this today (11/2). A nice Memento Mori for All Soul's Day! (8-x)

Healthy, Wholeness and Holiness to you, Tobias.