Back to Normal

He unfurled for nine months

like paper folded more than eight times over,

springing outwards in his eagerness,

and this morning

parts of him were birthed again.


MRI round three and it’s knockout,

brain scans showing water before it boils,

traitor cells writhing like rising bubbles

while he sleeps, a calm surface

in the chamber.



There have been more unlikely things.

Americans taught bumblebees to find bombs,

taught them their scent meant nectar,

but the swarms inside my son

are set to go, and his doctors

can’t diffuse them.


They rebuilt his brain

with quick spurts of plastic

layer on layer

crinkled as squashed honeycomb,

a model to help me understand

future cuts and slices.


But tonight, we’re back to normal.

Tonight we have warm milk and Doctor Who,

his head on my lap, his brain

on the floor.

He’s lived five years, won’t live

five more, but this testament

will last five hundred.


A member of Coventry Stanza and the DYNAMO Poetry Mentoring Scheme, Jack Cooper has been published by Young Poets Network, Popshot, and Under the Radar, and can often be found on Twitter @JackCooper666.