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Dean Bottomley


At an HIV Clinic

Did anybody else even notice him?
Were they so wrapped up in their own fears that he was invisible?
How could you miss such distress?
How could he pass unseen?

I saw his young eyes, red and damp.
Silent tears slipping down a white, drawn, frightened face.
He had not got the news he had wanted.
A few words had just destroyed his life.

“I am sorry but your test was positive”
Eight little words that Hiroshima like had blown his world to pieces!
Future gone, no hope, no life:
How could he tell all those he loved.

Reach out your hand and take mine.
You are no leper, there is hope and ones who care.
You will live long and can have life.
This is a mountain you can climb.

Drugs can keep the enemy at bay:
Give you long life, with friends, with love and laughter.
You can, and will have a future
Even if it seems so far away.

Let those who care walk with you.
You are not contagious, a touch, a hug, a kiss, is not a risk.
I would walk by your side
Until again you can fly.

Now on your knees you fear.
Time passes and you will stand; and then soar.
Till that happens there is me
To hold your hand and help you heal.

The day will come when you will leave.
You will find the strength, know the truth, and live again.
You will leave, and I will smile.
Then turn my hand to those who follow you.

Submitted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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