Augustus Young, JACOPONE DA TODI’S PRAYER TO THE LORD OF PATHOLOGY (After the thirteenth century Italian)

Dear Lord, I thank you to send me
cancer cells in Your abundance,
and secondaries in all my glands:
and grant malfunctions every chance
to manifest infirmity.
But save me from myself.

Hepatitis, types E to A,
lymph adenititis, tinnitus:
hiccups that will not go away:
grand mal wouldn’t be an onus:
throw in the pox as a bonus.
But save me from myself.

Grant me perpetual migraine,
and gallstones without pity,
gout, trench-mouth,and the rat’s bane,
rodent ulcers, feeling shitty,
chronic quinsy, paludal ague.
But save me from myself.

Piles, pinworms and the scurvy
be my companions in pain:
botulism and beriberi,
general paralysis of the insane,
croup and dhobies’ itch console me.
But save me from myself.

Lord, suffer me with something slow:
fatty degeneration of the veins,
ingrown toenails, impetigo,
obstruction of the intestines.
Make my home a hospice so
intensive care can live with me.
But save me from myself.

Investigate me for all these:
surgical probes and biopsy,
lumber punctures, and some deep freeze
Diagnosis be my worst disease
next to multiple therapy.
But save me from myself.

Till You switch off the life-support
keep me in traction for my sins,
and insult me with every sort
of surgical intervention,
back-up drugs, and resus teams:
and please bless my dying screams.
But save me from myself.