Roger Sippl

Roger Sippl studied creative writing at UC Irvine, UC Berkeley,  and Stanford Continuing Studies. He has enjoyed being published in a few dozen online and print literary journals and anthologies over the years, including the Ocean State Review, the Magnolia Review and the Bacopa Literary Review. While a student at Berkeley, Sippl was diagnosed with advanced Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and was treated for thirteen months with a mixture of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, seriously challenging him in many ways, but allowing him to live relapse-free to this day, forty-three years later. See what he’s been doing at http://www.rogersippl.com.

Poem

HE TAKES CHANCES

In a long slow dance exhausted
shuffling around the room, moving in
a circle, while twisting
with my arms around myself
I hug my baby that is not
there, being watched by the
stuffed animals that waited
for him to be born fourteen and a half years ago.

He is at his six-week-long
“wilderness camp” in our American Siberia
supposedly learning what his life with me
did not transfer to his working brain.

He takes chances.
Good or bad he takes chances.

And he must learn the difference.

He’s broken just the things
I cannot fix
and in his subconscious he’ll fight
the demons that he built
so that he can defeat them on his own.

He takes chances.
Good or bad he takes chances.

And he must learn the difference.

While on his “survival course”
his younger brother and sister will not understand
why he had to live long enough in the ice
to find himself, and then go away
to a therapeutic boarding school
for an infinite eighteen months.

We will have to get them a kitten.

He takes chances.
Good or bad he takes chances.

And he must learn the difference.

Copyright © 2022 by Roger Sippl. Used with permission of the author.