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November 12, 2012

Facing Our Own

 Illness has a way of making us think about our ultimate deadline with a clarity that can either paralyze us with fear or set us free to reach new heights. Rosie Garland's recently published book, Everything Must Go, takes the reader on her journey of facing the ultimate deadline. She faced her diagnosis of throat cancer with a weapon we all can wield: poetry. Sometimes a book's title springs on us and serves as a kind of mantra. Everything Must Go is currently doing that for me. Indeed, every thing must go, as must each and every one of us. What will our attitude be about that part of our human journey? Rosie's poem gives us some transformative instructions to that end. 

A Donor’s Card
by Rosie Garland

There’s nothing here that I’ll be needing.
I don’t do souvenirs. No grave-goods,
no grave. No-one will do their back in
digging me a hole; nor have the job

of unpeeling rotten carnations from my marker.
Stretch me out in a place of arc-lights. Open me up.
Reveal my inner workings, the plot twist no-one was expecting.
Let the harvesting commence. May my heart thump love

in the warm nest of another’s ribs, my liver filter
someone else’s happy anniversary, my lungs give voice
to laughter and whistling out of tune at bus stops.
Lay me to rest under the bright faces, the white coats of angels.


Poem copyright Rosie Garland, all rights reserved. 
Rosie Garland is a poet, writer and performance artist. She has won several awards, including the Dada Award for Performance Artist of the Year and the Diva Award for Solo Performer, and has performed at prestigious venues in Britain, the USA and other countries. Her first novel The Palace of Curiosities is to be published in 2013.  
Read more about Rosie at Holland Park Press.

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