So that nothing worse happens to you
A poem for Easter.
His sick and mine might’bin
more related than I understood
first time reading the story,
might be more in common now
thinking about it, how before
all the unwell and broken would
go, and if prohibited by their
ailment or otherwise, would be
brought, so they would be healed;
only not this time.
Been drinking myself blind ten
past years, twenty, just to keep
myself from hearing God, blur
them communication lines,
drown them out – a day on the
bottle, another to recover‘nough
to begin anew, whole while
lying to my folks&brothers I was
tickety-boo; if they knew different
sure didn’t say so.
Lying there is where the Lord
found him, withered and unable
to help himself, 38-years of it
focusing what he couldn’t do
resigned to his lot, his story, his –
Big J asked if he even wanted
to get well and he replied like
all victims do: a story filled with
hardships why he couldn’t do
what he wished.
The story I tell be so tested and
refined I could recite it from a
drunken stupor and still nail all
the important plot-lines –
has afforded me the resources
to get by, to avoid doing things
I don’t like, offers an excuse
for this wasted life; only now
it’s catching up and I’m tired of
these wornout lies.
A long time this condition, and
six words have me turned about:
he said, Do you wish to get well?
lose the story I tell, the income
deposited in the account, have
to be responsible all over?
Poor guy wasn’t given time
to wonder these things, just
Get up, gather your things, walk;
don’t sin no more.
about the author
Andrew Lafleche is the award-winning poet and author of No
Diplomacy, Ride, and Spring Summer, Winter, Fall. His work uses spoken
style language to blend social criticism, philosophical reflection,
explicit prose, and black comedy. Following his service as an infantry
soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces, Lafleche received an M.A. in
Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire. He
lives on a farmstead in the Bonnechere Valley. Follow @AndrewLafleche on Twitter for more information.
about the artist
From heraldic painter to war artist, Karen Bailey’s diverse career spans four decades. An appointed military artist in Afghanistan and official portrait painter of the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, her themes of service and community give voice to a diverse range of workers. Past series include church tea ladies, the people and landscape of remote Fogo Island, Newfoundland, guide dogs for the blind and Cundell Stables, the last stable in Lowertown, Ottawa. In Portraits of the Ottawa Mission she continued her theme of documenting under-recognized people. A visual storyteller, through her art she seeks to represent beauty, honesty and most importantly, humanity.