Poem – Rae Varcoe

When considering euthanasia


First, you should own a wise physician friend,
a young one, the kind who could find
a needle in a brainstorm.
If not, rent one.

If you wish, consult a minister or priest.
(For myself, I would avoid those with vestry interests.)
Perhaps pay a little visit to the chemist.

Then define your terms.

No.8 wire need not feature here.
If you could do-it-yourself,
you might not need to do it at all.
Cancer pain’s dissolved these days
and depression lifts with chemistry.

It’s the others we must consider:
the swatch of clot in the cerebral cortex,
the implacable tangle of Alzheimer’s
the panic attacks when lungs sit huddled
desperate in the chest.

The loss of lists, gifts and gracefulness.
Consider those.


ask a favour

of your friend


Rae Varcoe

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