© Julie Bolitho 2018

The Cancer Gang

12 Mar 2014

initiation

is painful

but quick

 

before

you know

you’ve signed up

been beaten

                                down

you’re enrolled

                    entangled

in a web

created by circumstance

 

your friends

                    your family

do not understand

 

why you accept

the inevitable

 

they are mad

              frustrated

              scared

 

as you are branded

by gang symbols

 

scars and funny haircuts

 

you’re labeled

            titled

 

and it’s not just

for a day

         week

         month

         year

 

you’re a lifer

 

many die

   trying

to get out

 

others give it up

           give in

to the new code words

                  time tables

to the abandonment

of a life previous

 

some survive

the last

            beating

                        gang bang

 

but they remember

that once you’re in

               you’re in

 

and something can always

lurk

       beneath

the shadows

of your skin

 

© Julie Bolitho “The Cancer Gang,” Poem. Survivor’s Review. Vol 15, 2014; online edition, found at: http://www.survivorsreview.org/features.php?vol=15&art=220

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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