You've probably heard that Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with glioblastoma. When I heard, it brought up memories of Paul Ford's diagnosis, especially the part where Mr. McCain says he's looking forward to getting back to work. 

Glioblastoma is the meteor that killed the dinosaurs. It's a shark attack in super slo-mo. There's no amount of chemotherapy, radiation, or macrobiotic organic free-range cannabis oil that will stop it. I talked to one of the most famous cancer doctors in the country. He said stay close to home. 

I'm grateful to have been able to say goodbye to Paul while he was alive. On the other hand, he wanted to die long before he did. Mr. McCain will die like a warrior and that's the best we can hope for him. I'm thankful he was able to serve us for so long. 

I wrote this poem after Paul's first surgery.  

***************

Zombie

I was sitting in the rain in my car
you were dying of brain cancer
or not dying of brain cancer
depending on whether the cat is alive
when we open the box 

Halloween night, I walked through the Field of Screams
a bloody bodiless leg lying in the path
a man with a banjo in the graveyard. 
a corpse in the tree that came to life
nothing was as scary as brain cancer 

it is a stage 3 cat
or maybe a stage 4 cat

the thing that nobody mentions is
the third option: the cat is not in there. 
It's because there is no third option. 
The cat cannot perform any of the more
famous tricks of quantum physics

a corpse cannot really come to life
not even on Halloween night

I turned the key and took you some soup
your head was stapled like Frankenstein
you hugged me and were not undead
maybe you were more alive than ever

*****************

"Maybe time running out is a gift. I'll work hard till the end of my shift." - Jason Isbell, If We Were Vampires

Hell yeah, Jason. We're doing our part: 

JUL 28 FRI
Durham Central Park
Durham NC

JUL 29 SAT
Saturdays In Sahaxapaw
Saxapahaw NC

AUG 3 THU
The Purple Fiddle
Thomas WV

AUG 4 FRI
Club Cafe
Pittsburgh PA

AUG 5 SAT
Oak Grove Folk Music Festival
Verona VA

AUG 10 THU
Birthplace of Country Music
Bristol, TN

AUG 11 FRI
White Horse Black Mountain
Black Mountain, NC

AUG 12 SAT
Sertoma Amphitheatre at Bond Park
Cary, NC

AUG 13 SUN
Listen Speakeasy at Hush
Greensboro, NC

AUG 18 FRI
Bear Creek Folk Music Festival
Grande Prairie Alberta 

Your fan, 

JByrd

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