Clare Saponia

Illegal Illness

It’s official: the stats have shrunk.
It’ll be illegal to be sick by 2020.
Disease has been cut. So don’t
develop ME, rheumatism or any
strain of mental imbalance
or you’ll be pawning breadsticks
for psychotherapy sessions.

Don’t catch STDs or smoke yourself
to infertility. Don’t have an accident
on your front porch without a fully
comprehensive insurance policy:
there’ll be no beds to death-rattle in,
no emergency staff at hand to yank
gadgets out of children’s noses.

Don’t bank on anything other than
this one minute detail: that sickness
will be cut when there is no longer
a service for it. The league tables
will see to that. Just watch how
cancer dribbles off the NHS menu,
how hip replacements halve to a halt.

There’ll be no future docs with nous;
just the stupid, rich ones who can
foot the bill and bribe their way into
the medicine cabinet with a sharp
wrench at daddy’s little finger. So
don’t get sick any time soon. There’s
a time and a place. But it’s not here.

Clare Saponia © 2014


He hadn’t meant to be put on trial like that.

He said, they were of a different opinion:

They tickled each of the remaining five pigs
of his right hand before snapping and carving
in reverse order.

They stopped at two and a half;

enough to make writing difficult, female
satisfaction – the job of other men. Not for
the likes of him.

They said, it was because they had caught him
having sex –

in a tree.

He said, they weren’t blessed with imagination.

He said, they didn’t care much for his films either –
even those made with seven and a half digits.

He said, he was glad they had left his thumbs,
for want of something to twiddle whilst awaiting
his asylum papers.

He said, he had no intention of letting the other
seven and a half leave the UK again.

He said, the word homesickness meant something
completely different to him.

Clare Saponia © 2014