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Only Seventeen

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Only seventeen,
He buys into the illusion
Of his infallible invisibility.
Of never dying, never crying,
Of effortlessness, never trying.

When told the news
From the doctor
He was in a state of shock.
What disease?
He wouldn't believe.

Life went on just the same.
People smiled, people frowned.
The sky was blue.
He uses denial
To get through his trial.

He visits chemo each day,
Wears a hat to school.
All part of the game.
Everyone understood
That he was doing all he could

To live his lie.
He didn't want them to know.
But they all knew.
But if he had to wish to cease,
They would just leave him at peace.

When finally, it all came
Crashing down.
It was a normal day,
He went to school,
And was perched upon his stool

In biology class.
They spoke of death.
He felt uneasy, realizing
His mortality, the possibility of death
Stealing one's breath.





It then hit him-
It was true.
He had lied to himself
And to his friends.
He wept to no end.

He stopped lying
To himself and
To the others.
He began to live
And started to give

Facing the truth
A chance. He
Understood what might happen,
But focused on the now
And didn't allow

His cancer to define him.
He laughed more, smiled more.
Enjoyed life.
Then one day,
I'm sorry to say,

He began to grow weak.
In this, he found his strength.
In his hospital bed,
His body may have been dying,
But his soul was thriving.

Friends and family
Crowded around him,
He said goodbye and took
His final breath and with a smile,
He left this world for a while.





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