Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Disease’s Gifts

For Peggy Munson

That you must accept
what you cannot prevent.  That fear inverts
the meaning of success.  That you can be fearless

when fear is all you have.
That fear is all you have.
That you aren’t alone in loneliness,

there’s a whole world here,
a pregnant, fascinating glimpse,
all stomach and hips,

of the life-creating love
you’re finally sick enough to feel.
That that glimpse can't stop you from melting

into the futures you fear
you will and will not have.
That you have, you still have,

everything you need to live:
night, ice, plums, a lap and a laptop, a name, a parent,
whipped cream, gossip, steaming plates

of life and death. 
That this is the end of the world.
That you will survive it.

Credit


From The Future Is Trying to Tell Us Something: New and Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Joy Ladin. Used with the permission of the author.

Author


Joy Ladin

Joy Ladin is the author of Impersonation (Sheep Meadow Press, 2015).

Date Published: 2018-02-22

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/diseases-gifts