An apple a day, they say, Keeps the doctor far away, Whole grains and fibres twice a day, Keeps the calories at bay, Health says a puff of cigar a day, Drags me five inches closer to my grave, Time mocks me as I cling to the smoke stick, My lungs blacken with every tick, Studies agree that health is wealth, But we traded sound mind for five shekels and twelve, Fruits and veggies abound but we pine for small chops, A mighty flood is formed by teeny weeny rain drops, Our masses double from zero with a spike in the gram, The cursor of the weighing balance tilts to the two hundred mark, Health means restraint, But to sugars and sodas we show no constraint, Five liters of iced tea are complementary staples, Engaging in a toxic romance with red labels, Before 30, our thumbs are numb with the torture of needles, An overdose of sweetness is near lethal and leaves us feeble, Pills and potions are tiny ecstasies of false hopes raised high, Sending dreams ricocheting towards a downhill nosedive, Health is safety but your eyes wander to anything pretty, HIV disguised as a devil in agbada, a hottie in a mini, Years later, bones and flesh erode, fleshy begets skinny, Health says stay clear of the green long necked bottle, Temptation culled in the curvy silhouette of a runway model, Makes us stagger from side to side, count twos as tens, Making our hearts stutter and leaving ashy ruins of our flashy Benz, Health means going the extra mile, But for some, a walk on the treadmill is a tad out of style, The gospel of WHO, section 6 cites health as wholeness, Making peace with our outer and inner selves, Take a deep breath, do the yoga, Let the morning sun kiss your skin burnished with jojoba, Verily verily I say unto thee, health is more than absence of disease, It's a battle to stay alive, not to be counted as deceased, For ill health, a grim reaper comes only to steal and kill piece by piece, Know this and know peace.
by Dera Udochukwu
Udochukwu Chidera also known as Queen Deraa is an award-winning writer, pharmacist and model. She won the 2022 Movement of the People Poetry Contest, the bronze medal in the 2022 May/June Shuzia Prose contest, won first place in the May edition of the D’Lit Review poetry contest, the 2021 Deborah Itohan Poetry Prize and the 2021 School of Pharmacy UNIZIK Poetry Contest. She was also a top ten finalist in the 2021 Feb / March edition of the Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest and a two-time finalist in the 2020 and 2021 Parousia Christmas Short Story Contest. She is also a contributor at Mystery Publishers Ltd and her short story Keziah appeared in their Our Stories Defined Anthology. She is also a contributor at the Tush magazine, a digital online magazine where she was a finalist in their May /June 2022 contest. She is also a contributor at Shuzia.