If I Knew…

If I knew my life might be cut short,
if some dread disease were to sully me
with sudden notice of my soon demise,
would I, in shock,
deny my state?
lash out in rage, 
accept my fate?

Would I gather friends around me,
or drive them all away,
to wallow in self-pity, 
and weep on, day after day?

Would my friends stare at me, mutely,
unsure just what to say,
or try, in vain, to banter,
like it’s just another day?

Would I focus on my sickness,
put life’s details on a shelf,
be blind to what surrounds me,
and see but nothing else?

Or, could I laugh despite my fears,
and dare to fight,
smile through my tears?
Engage with clerks, and jerks, and friends,
and finally make all my amends?

Would fear be sipped like bitter tea,
or would I struggle to break free,
to walk, and run, and play outside,
Not cringing, cowering, trapped inside?

See birds, and blooms, 
and brilliant skies,
or fill the air 
with “Why me?” cries?

Amaze my doctor with my grace?
Defiantly, look in his face,
and calmly state, “This won’t get me!”
I’ll beat this thing! I will! You’ll see!”

Monstrous tough, this dread disease,
I’d cuss, then pray apologies.
“Show me light in this dark place.
Oh, let me, please, behold Your face!”

Whispers to my deepest soul;
would Your Word come to console?
Or, would I grasp at every straw,
emotions rage, ’til I was raw?

Would food or lifestyle change my state?
Not when I vomit up my plate.
If life’s in it, I’d eat it up,
Upend my cup, and drain the dregs.

Throw ope’ my eyes, jump out of bed,
renew my pledge, to not be dead.
Don my wig upon my head,
and walk outside to meet the day,
knowing life and death—a breath away—
cannot steal my will to stay!

Copyright 2016 Regina Plimpton Quinn

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