He learned to hate at an early age
everything green spooned onto his plate.
It repelled as if monsters
curled on the dish lying in wait
to inject their slimy poison.
It offended his taste,
turnip green aroma distorted his face
like green-persimmon pucker,
evoked words sharp as epithets
spewing from his mouth.
Tasting the bitter herbs of physical changes,
grieving the health of immortal youth
prompted walks in the park,
but old habits clung like twining ivy,
comfortable as well worn shoes.
Freedom came late in life,
learning to tolerate diversity of color,
to relish the good inside,
to love red, yellow, green,
to savor each healthy gift.
The impetus came unexpected,
unbidden as a raven at his door,
strong as the fire of a cloudless sunrise,
easy as a quick journey on the train of motivation,
the conductor a white-coated stranger
named Verdict—Positive, he said,
your biopsy tested positive.