Cancer Comes


The Nun is an enzyme
running her fingers down
the four coloured strand.
Her lips recite the pattern by heart
fingers flickering on the beads
caressing their hard predictability;
from bead to bead, strand to strand
she passes the hours and years
embracing the monotony,
married to repetition.

the terror of a mistake
freezes her fingers
on a bead
and the alarm of her silent lips
screams down the blood stream,
summons the Priest from his cell
his words afire, his scalpel in his hand,
his magic book under his arm.

Like a thunder bolt
he blasts her from her torpor,
clenches the errant bead
and with skilled circumcision
slices the mutant strand.
Opening his book he pours old words
into the bleeding space,
chants the perfect pattern
duplicating an old plan;
the exciser, the repairer
performing his holy task.

The network is thronged
with murmuring Nuns
and chanting Priests,
the keepers of the plan:
but if a virus comes to chew
upon the symmetry of beads,
swirling too quickly from spiral to spiral
destroying the peaceful orderliness,
the clerics cannot complete their work
leave mutant genes:
and too, if they grow old, slow down,
neglect their daily task
cancer comes.


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