Poem 8 ± November 8, 2016

John Findura
Portrait: News Broadcast, 1985, w/Me Shaking

I was ten the first time I heard
About AIDS and how there was
No cure and how if you
Had it you were going to die
And my ten year-old self
Was sure that I would then
Get this disease because the news
Broadcasts don’t lie and there
I was shaking that I was going
To get an incurable disease
At ten years-old and die obviously
Not understanding anything about
What it really was only that it
Was a death sentence for everyone
And it was going to spread through
The country by blood and this sounded
So bad so horrible that I shook
Myself to sleep that night
But now I think not of how silly
I was because I wasn’t silly at all
I was scared and sure but now
At forty I am more frustrated
That it has been thirty years
And there is a ten year-old somewhere
Who is just as scared as I was
Because there is still no cure
And there are still people dying
And sometimes it seems as if
The most that I can do is write
A poem saying that it’s okay
To be young and scared because
When there are this many of us
You don’t have to be alone


john_finduraJohn Findura is the author of the poetry collection Submerged (ELJ, 2018). He holds an MFA from The New School as well as a degree in psychotherapy. His poetry and criticism appear in numerous journals including Verse, Fourteen Hills, Copper Nickel, Pleiades, Forklift, Ohio, Sixth Finch, Prelude, and Rain Taxi. A guest blogger for The Best American Poetry, he lives in Northern New Jersey with his wife and daughters.