This is a satirical piece that speaks to the platitudes, cliches and idioms that are rattled off when someone is sick, especially during chronic or mental illness. This jaunty poem—complete with hand-drawn illustrative pictures (including a meme), highlights how inadequate, and almost silly, these sound when talking about something that can be soul and life destroying. It Will All Be Okay highlights the “grin and bear it” attitude that many with long-term illnesses have, and the experience they may have had with the medical system. Cliches are usually something relatable, but for people who have dealt with years of medical neglect or incompetence, they all begin to morph into a single (insincere) ‘it will all be okay’ message.
Transcript: ‘It Will All Be Okay’ by Lauren Rosenberg
An apple a day keeps the doctor away,
but where is the help when they’ve had their say?
As fit as a fiddle, a guitar, a harp—
what about the strings that have snapped in my heart?
Alive and kicking—kicking at whom?
The pale Mr Ghost: he says hi, hello, boo.
On top of the world, down in the dumps,
A picture of health, a vaccine for mumps
Under the weather, head in the clouds,
Thoughts and prayers, head keeping bowed.
Why the long face: you sick as a dog?
Brain fart, leg cramp, snake oil fog.
A bitter pill to have—swallow them whole,
The green one, the pink one, the one for your soul.
(Would you like a dose of your own medicine?)
Buzzing and humming; a bundle of nerves,
Backwards, forwards: set, point, serve.
No more spoons, under the knife
Call your brother, sister, mother, wife.
(I can see you’re living your best life).
If you’re viral, just laugh—
It’s free, it’s medicine, goodbye to your staph.
A bag of bones, rattling, knocking on the door:
It’s death, knocking back, asking the score.
Hand the bill (of health) to pay—
Don’t let life get in the way!