Because after primary school no one
gets participation ribbons, cherry trees
drop petals like prizes across the yard.
I am famous for counting stars, catching
grasshoppers, anxiety. Give everyone
a medal for surviving heartache, divorce,
therapists. A gravestone is a trophy you win
after death. Truth deserves its own points
program. I’m saving up for sea monkeys,
X-ray vision, immortality. I won the contest
at my place of employment for blood
circulation, work despondancy, art
emergencies. Every year, I know less than
the year before, but still the rewards
keep piling up like medical prescriptions,
credit card debt. The evidence dictates
each day is a prototype for Heaven or Hell.
Make your choice wisely. I accept this honour
on behalf of leaving nothing out: vitamins,
lower back pain, river walks. My speech
will not make the headlines. The cherry trees
rain down coloured applause.
By Chris Banks