[oasis][stories]

Manchild

By Stephanie Williams
I'm going to die
   he said confidently
my T-cell count is at 84
It's just a matter of time
   but don't worry, I am at
total peace with myself
   . . .and I stare at him blankly
I am searching desperately for something
   to say
I feel the need to say something
because there is no assurance 
   that he will be here tomorrow
      or I, for that matter

He held his head back
   to recycle his tears
he didn't want to let them fall
he didn't want me to see him cry

Oh but the eyes never lie

I move to give him a hug
I am convinced that he needs a hug
   But it is me who is scared. . .
and lonely
   Some days when I think about it too hard
I miss him
and he has not even left
I miss him now though he is in my arms
   my head pressed against his chest

Now the tears begin to swell up in my eyes
My hearts grows heavy

I'm going to die 
   but I am at total peace with myself
   he said
with tears of joy and sorrow
flowing 
   down his cheeks
as he looks away and smiles. . .


Stephanie Williams is a student at Hendrix College. She can be reached at williamssl@alpha.hendrix.edu. About this poem, she says: "This poem is dedicated to my uncle Leroy Williams, Jr., who has taught me the true meaning of life and the value in living. I love you!".
General information: Jeff Walsh
Design and HTML: Jase Pittman-Wells
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