Making Descansos

The Veiled Parasite

Darryl was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in June 2000. We had been on holiday in Sydney and he had to be rushed to the Epworth hospital on the evening we came home.Once the veiled parasite entered our life our life changed. No one ever did give us a mannual on how to live with the disease that stripped away everything except our love for one another.


The mosquito-borne parasite
Plasmodium falciparum
A veiled lady
Dances slow measured tango steps
On a ballroom of red blood cells

Disguising herself
She skilfully
A genetic game
Of hide-and-seek

The mosquito-borne parasite
Plasmodium falciparum
A veiled lady
Wrapped in tightly bound bundles
Of red organza

Swirls in rhythm,
Among helpless,
Ruptured red
Blood cells

Alert immune system spies
Sensing danger
Astutely identify
This red veiled lady
Dancing disguised

Sounding the alert
They spring to defence
Only to have her
Deftly switch form,
Change makeup, costume

Sixty different genes
Sixty different protein shields
A united force lined up
Barely discernible
My body play catch-up
As plasmodium falciparum
Switches first one masked gene
Then another, relentlessly
The disguise

Weary I lie
Red cells ruptured
My body
Listlessly battles
The wily parasite

Before I succumb I must
Like Captain Kirk
Unravel the secrets
Of the veiled parasites
Invisible power over me

5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Captured, ID’d, and brought out into the open.
Monsters are so much less when we do that to them- you just have to be brave enough to go in after them.
Well done
Anita Marie

Comment by Anita Marie

Alas the wily one won this time Anita Marie. It stripped away everything but never did take our love. That was our victory!

Comment by Heather Blakey

Darling as was said to me in a newsletter you printed in
” Writing for well-being” 1997.

A Philosphic pillar of
” Writing for Well-Being is to honour self.

Love (Muse of the Sea) 23/2/07

Comment by lois daley

It was a sweet victory Heather-a very sweet one.
Love from
Anita Marie

Comment by Anita Marie

how horrifying, it takes so little to take away our humanity, if we are lucky there is some love to keep us as part of humanity when most will just turn their backs – being in love is best, always

Comment by aletta mes

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