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from an ongoing series, "Marfan Lives", (auto)biographical
portraits of people with Marfan Syndrome


At age five, I'd watch cartoons, eat breakfast
without a bowl – I'd pour cereal and milk into
the caved in area between my chest and stomach.
Pectus excavatum. As a kid that's pretty cool.
                         Not so much for my parents.

A single guy with four kids isn't the most inviting scene,
but Angie dived in feet first. She was the OT
at a camp for teens with chronic conditions
called You're in Charge. It's hard to focus
            on anything much when I'm with her.

Marfan and I aren't best buddies or anything –
a thoracic aneurysm and collapsed lung
kind of puts you in your place – complaining
just isn't in my nature. Hope I've passed that onto them too.
                        Life is getting shook up some this year –

home schooling's past its sell-by date.
There's too much life to enjoy out here. We have
the highest tides, the fattest lobster and the spring sun
soft across the icy water. Digby's not for everyone,
            I get that, but it's small enough so no-one

looks away when you pass each other on the street.

Andy Jackson's poetry collection Among the regulars was shortlisted for the 2011 Kenneth Slessor Prize. A new short collection the thin bridge won the Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize and was published in 2014. His latest book Immune systems (Transit Lounge, 2015) explores India and medical tourism. He has performed across Australia, in India, the USA and Ireland, and he writes about the poetry of unusual bodies at