Cancer

Dear Paul Ryan

By Jacqueline Jules

After you’ve carried out your promises
to the American people,
I hope you’ll come to the chemo clinic with me.

Wait in my seat—rigid blue plastic,
stainless steel frame, comforting
as the flicker of fluorescent tubes
from the popcorn ceiling.

Notice how the legs of your chair
wobble on uneven green tile
while you listen
on a dying cell phone
to a bean counter at Blue Cross
explain why you don’t deserve
the drug your doctor prescribed.

Feel the bones
up and down your spine
burst into flames.

Then you can come home with me.
Sip canned soup at my table,
littered with pre-existing bills
for care no longer covered.

And you can tell me again
why you are so pleased
to be the face of the political party
which proudly proclaims
all life is precious
as long as no taxes protect it.

 

 

 

 

Jacqueline Jules is the author of the poetry chapbooks, Field Trip to the Museum, Stronger Than Cleopatra, and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String. Her work has appeared in over 100 publications including The New Verse News, Potomac Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Little Patuxent Review, and Gargoyle. She is also the author of 40 books for young readers.

 

“Dear Paul Ryan” appeared previously in a slightly altered form in The New Verse News, and it is reposted here with the author’s permission.

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