Syphilis is on the rise.
We can see it in our infants’ eyes.
No constraint in moments of lust,
we erode from transmitted rust
until birth pangs yield a newborn cry.
Still, syphilis is on the rise.
Over a decade it has grown ten-fold,
coming for the young through the old,
even though health warnings have often been told,
but interest in safety has grown cold.
So, diseases aren’t feared or despised.
Now, syphilis is on the rise.
Some would say it is a plague,
but many continue to play
in denial that they may have a terrible disease.
So, public health says little, to appease,
as a generation is born and cries,
“What did we do to make syphilis rise?”
Well, nothing. Isn’t that the catch?
You are all just an unlucky batch,
as we drown in meth and needles, unprotected,
as we live like animals in the streets, infected.
Is there no one left who can give direction
and save our lives?
Or will we diminish, one life at a time,
as syphilis is on the rise?
About the Poem
According to the CDC, Syphilis cases have risen in newborns 10-fold in the last decade, to a record number of newborns with the disease. This is a stark reminder of the desperate times we live in, that the most innocent among us must suffer.
About the Author
Dale Hensarling is an artist, musician, and poet living in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, puppies, and a parrot named “Pongo.” He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Lindenwood University, and he currently teaches in Laveen, Arizona.