I’ve been in this bed for too long.
Please don’t let me go like Charlie.
My friend Charlie.
He got bad cancer and was in a bed for months.
I made the visits when I could,
bringing his favorite contraband.
His chewing tobacco and a couple cans of Molson’s
in a cold pack.
Charlie started getting these bad sores in different places.
They put on bandages, but the bandages made it worse.
He got a little more sad, each time I came.
At last, I stopped coming.
Crying a lot. Coward. You coward.
I have no cancer, unless it be of the spirit.
I think I am like all of us.
We so need the human touch, the warmth and need of another.
And I do not know, really, why this bed has become such a refuge.
A refuge from what? Human touch and warmth?
How will I become worthy of these things, and of the whole of love?
Get me up, dammit, I must get up.
As I lie staring, motionless, I feel I am effervescing.
Particles of me drifting upwards, like motes of light.
Soon I will be gone, like Charlie.
But, for now, I spread my arms and legs on these neat white sheets.
And all that will be left, when they come, is a snow angel.
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.