I Am Not a Diabetic
I am not a diabetic.
I have diabetes—you see?
I am not obese,
I do not smoke or drink,
I am a hungry vegetarian,
and I swim in the sea each day.
Then you shouldn’t have diabetes.
But unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
My dad had diabetes and
it was his parting gift to me.
So I have made friends with my condition,
he calls me son and I call him Pop,
as I pop another pill.
I treat him with every consideration
and we do love to get it right.
My doctor treats him with reverence
and prescribes only the best-wrapped gifts
to assuage his temper, and hopefully one day
will inject some realism into my insinuation
and oft-repeated question:
“Oh why, Dad, why? Oh why?”
Now it ought to be OK, you say.
But his genes and my genes
go hunting in a pack.
So another pill for cholesterol,
another for BP,
I know these rustling popper packs
will be the life of me.
But I am not a diabetic!
Repeat that after me,
and then maybe you will see,
that whatever my glucose status,
it is me you see—yes, me.
So please don’t stick a label,
for now you know the truth.
You know that I have diabetes,
as you might one day,
Jim Young, who has type 2 diabetes, is a poet and retired nurse who lives in Wales—the birthplace, he likes to point out, of the British poet and writer Dylan Thomas. A collection of Young’s poems can be found at baitthelines.blogspot.com.
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