strong // the end of treatment bell

Lili Donlon-Mansbridge 19 November 2018

strong // the end of treatment bell

 

listen

it’s finished, it’s over, you’ve done it, we’ve done it

 

what now?

 

remedial poison

a network of wiring and needles and drugs and lasers

counterintuitively,

it made you human

like a pesticide

a misnomer really

because you are here

 

and its growing,

blooming, like you when you look in the mirror

and realise you can brush it, not your teeth but

 

and your eyes are defined again, they’re smiling too,

posed against your cheeks which have colour

rosy

not the limelight of the sound of the bell singing

‘you’ve done it, we’ve done it’

goodbye.

 

forever?

or just for a while

do we wait?

for the bristles to turn wiry, the roses to wilt,

the bell to clang not ring and sing because the song

is

stuck

in my head

 

it is finished, they’ve said so

but only God knows though

 

i remember when dad told me

i’d never seen a big man cry

masculinity is funny like that

protect until he can’t protect

defend until he can’t defend

and then it’s a tear

that tears a hole

 

can it be filled?

 

by the strength you have when you

hug us its warm

like the cups we sip and

sit with tea on our laps in front of the telly

belly the laughs that only you make

erupt out of us

its blinding and bold and humble

you’re strong, we’re strong

 

listen

it’s finished, it’s over, you’ve done it, we’ve done it

 

now what