The Following Scan Will Last Less Than a Minute

afternoons are
Eurosport replays
of alpine skiing
sponsored by Jack Wolfskin and Milka
brands to whom I am grateful
for facilitating this daily moment of calm

evenings are the joy
I take in loving Simone as much as I do
especially in the face of this overwhelming exhaustion

cancer is so quotidian
you hear about it on Wednesday morning
die on a Tuesday afternoon
no strobe lights
no cloakroom check-in
the sun is shining
a completely ordinary insipid sun
above the A10
and the exit for Praxis

The Following Scan Will Last One Minute

with cancer in your back everything
is suddenly afforded an epic quality

two people in a car

tying your own shoelaces
the stuff of poetry!

Simone feeding me recovery ward noodles
a fairy tale

The Following Scan Will Last Two Minutes

It is 1952
Bright colours exist only in nature
do not yet fill the aisles of Xenos
You can add an egg to the cake mix
to make yourself feel like a good housewife
Somewhere on the outskirts of Twente
my great-grandfather is dying of bladder cancer

It is 2018
You can separate glass from paper
to make yourself feel like a good citizen
You use a linen shopping bag
You give readings about the environment
You travel off-peak using a discount
You no longer have the strength to collect the small change
you get for recycling bottles at the supermarket
You just throw them all in the general waste

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences