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A Poem by Donald

April 2011

Twenty four years, now, since April 25, 1987
When the test results came back and I was told: positive
Positive for having been exposed to the then-named human immunodeficiency virus
Positive because antibodies to the virus could be detected in my blood
Positive because the antibodies would not be there if the virus had not been there first
Like footprints in the sand of a cruel beach where no wave would come to wash them away

One cannot exaggerate the importance of the exact nature of the test result, because
HIV positive was not acquired immune deficiency syndrome, yet.
One cannot exaggerate the importance of the precision of the words used to describe the condition, because

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See Also
2013 Poetry Month at HIV/AIDS-Related Poems From Our Readers
A Message From Your Poetry Editor
2012 Poetry Month at
2011 Poetry Month at
2010 Poetry Month at

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Gary (Washington, DC) Thu., May. 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm UTC
Oh, what a wonderful poet you are!!! It is everything that happened and exactly how it felt. It is exactly it on every level. I treasure this poem of yours. Thank you!
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Comment by: Anonymous Mon., May. 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm UTC
This poem is brilliant; thnx for shaing it w/us. As I read it, I felt apart of it. It drew me in & allowed me to recall the moments I was told,"You're positive"-Very touching and transparent. Thanks once again, Donald, for your poem.
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