Climate Change of Cancer by Helen Paterson

I watched your body slowly putrefy as mutated B-cells

Dispersed their alien poison into your pristine ecosystem

Steeped in stress, a life out of your control.

You ignored the initial warnings

Denied the changing climate within

The fire on your skin

The flood across your landscape.

The inescapable truth made you recognize

A need to balance lifestyle

To mitigate the inflammation of your essence.

Change is impossible with life’s web of responsibility

Locked into a destiny controlled by capital.

Chemo was your solar, wind, and nuclear energy

And I believed it would save you.

We were too late.

The cancer was too strong.

It grew and grew, eating your healthy biome

Killed linked systems

Brought suffering and pain

Consumed you ‘til death.

About the Author

Helen Paterson lives in the Slocan Valley, the unceded territory of the Sinixt, with the draft dodgers, Doukhobors, hippies, yippies, and farmers. She loves her two grown sons, her dog, and her wild friends who share her property, writing in the silence of the dawn and dancing to the blues. She is currently working towards a creative writing diploma at Selkirk College.

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