Awake in a nightmare Of busted blood cells Unraveling genetics, Too real for A dream, The wretched noose tightens, Hour by hour, Gallows of Reality.
Then You stopped awhile, Along This Road. You couldn't know that my Soul cried out to God, Salvage this Failing Flesh!
There's not much we can do, Not yet. In the meantime, we'll poison the disease With arsenic. We'll cripple your Immune System: Out with the bad Make way for the good. Hope for the best - don't be afraid.
But when I was just eight, more than forty years ago, The Mustard failed my Father, you see.
Then You stopped awhile Along This Road, A stranger bearing Treasure: The ultimate Gift, the ultimate Risk. You couldn't know how much I loved My sons, how much they needed Me,
And I Them, Like my Father before.
How could you know? You couldn't know how much Of the Road ahead lay unpaved. You couldn't see what I had glimpsed: The terror of the blank page. Yet you must have known
What it's like To stare into Grim faced Death that Gripped me fast, Punched me in the Gut each time the blood Tests came back bad, as I Prayed they wouldn't, bad News flowing down the page in Shrinking numbers, purple as the pinpoint Bruises - petechia - a pox up both legs, as Fatigue swamped my body but not my spirit.
Yet you stopped awhile Along This Road To share a part of your essence: The burgundy elixir of life I studied dripping into my vein Late one early-June night ... 2004
Four years later, Your stem cells blaze deep at my core; I sense you there-faceless, nameless- Those double twisting strands, the threads of your Essence entwining with mine, from a Woman, a friend, who, in the face of Pain and no small risk, stopped and Walks with me Along This Road.
William Feltt teaches first-year writing at Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL. He has two sons and is single. Currently, along with a batch of short stories in progress, he's writing a memoir titled, Just Left of Center.