I mourn my own hands. These hands
that made love, made art, wiped the snot of my son and daughter.
That have roofed a house, and driven down highway 41.
I have psoriatic arthritis. With theses arms and legs
I have no insurance.
I carry a white elephant of symptoms
but I am more concerned for the collection of polar
bears my family greets.
I am a father, and a better one than they
will ever be. As the provider, I’m a welder at a factory.
The news is bleak and old suffering
turns her rattling eye on me.
It is a time to pray, but I have no faith.
So I desperately pray to a god I think
long has stopped living.
There are pills that are too expensive
for me to buy, that only slow down
the process if luck stops by.
If psoriatic arthritis cripples
me, there will be no one to wipe family’s tears.
No one to draw them near or pay the bills.
God may I be strong, may I stand, despite
the pain and fear, may I be hard, and carry
this. O this is the meaning of catch twenty-two.
I wish this prayer came from my imagination
instead of the ache of my body and frustration.
My hands are already starting to cramp
up and I feel the warm tingling
in my joints. I will hide the pain until I can no longer
The pain is already almost unbearable.
I live in U.S.A and here, there is no hope for
poor and sick, for middle class and sick.
O if only I was born in Cuba, or Canada or France
or the UK, or anywhere where medicine was given
based on need, and not dollars. Not dollars
-Don’t tell me this is the result of inner poverty.