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    She gets sick, and you run;
    She gets sicker, and you run,
    But you do not run away.
    You run her to doctors
    For all of their tests,
    You run her to hospitals
    For all of her scares,
    You run her to chemo
    To watch poisons compete,
    And the scorching of the earth.

    You run for her
    As her body turns weak,
    You run for her
    Though all outlooks are bleak,
    You run for her
    To the last of your hope,
    To where all things unravel
    At the end of your rope.

    You know when you stop
    You will fall apart,
    So it's go, go, go, go!
    To the end of the day,
    Run, run, run, run!
    To the end of the week,
    There's no time for breathing,
    Eating, drinking, or tears,
    Time's only for running
    For the one you hold dear.

    Yet no matter how fast
    Your strong legs may move you,
    No matter how far
    Your feet let you go,
    No matter how broad
    Your back is for lifting,
    No matter how sturdy
    Your muscles for striving,
    No amount of running
    Will win you this race,
    And losing is something
    You may have to face;
    Though some will make it through
    The big, gruesome parade,
    She's one of many
    Who did not, I'm afraid.

    And your running goes on,
    Though your compass goes wild,
    Spinning more and more quickly,
    Till the needle disappears,
    Needle-less, directionless,
    Lungs drowning in fears,
    But you keep running on,
    For you've forgot how to stop,
    Till it all catches up,
    And you suddenly drop.

    You may cry, you may rage,
    Might feel angry for days,
    Embittered, unhappy,
    From your running around,
    And all you got for it
    Was to feel run down.

    But that is not all.

    There were smiles in the bad times,
    Smiles, and laughs too;
    You ran then for her,
    It's time; walk now for you:
    Take it slow and remember
    Till the goodness comes back—
    Things maybe you missed
    While under attack—
    Take it slow and embrace
    This thing we call life,
    That was the point,
    After all, of the fight.

    You can't help but be different,
    The race changes the runner,
    Please be kind to yourself
    As you become, not recover.





    Michael Maller
    Appleton, WI
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