Your Type 1 Diabetes Poetry

Read the poems of the five winners in our diabetes poetry contest.



We had a slew of entries for our diabetes poetry contest. Many entrants chose to follow our lead by writing diabetes haiku, while others chose to express themselves in long form. All were inspired and entertaining and we offer a hearty congratulations to all participants!

Below are the top five poems and a youth entry from the contest:

First Prize

Once a certain death
Diabetes is now
something a person can live with.

Once a certain death
of a boy I read about
reminded me
Diabetes isn’t something a person can ignore
and live with.

Once a certain death
standing in the darkness by the bed
as I came sweating and trembling to awareness
reminded me my death
is something I live with.
-Jerry Nairn

Second Place

I hate what you see in my eyes
I know you only know because you love me
Please, when I come around
I mean me
not the me with barren, hungry blood
not the angry, resentful me

I hate that you see it in my eyes
before I know myself
I hate that you learned to notice
please when I come around
forgive me.

If someone can get grouchy
missing a meal
what happens when the brain is starving?

I know, because I’ve felt it
You know, because you’ve seen it
Please forgive me
I hate what you see in my eyes
-Jerry Nairn

Third Place

Sidewalk seam test strip
Bruised petals on wet concrete
The truths left behind
-Kelly Rawlings

Fourth Place

How can I afford?
Diabetes expenses
Taxing me truly.
-Elizabeth Rowley

Fifth Place

Meter, test strip, click.
Lancet needle gives a stick.
Get me sugar quick!
-Isaac Hunter

Honorable mention – Youth division

Oh my pancreas –
How I miss my insulin
Now I need a pump.
-Isabella Clark-Alderman, age 11

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Craig Idlebrook is a past editor for Insulin Nation, Type 2 Nation, and Información Sobre Diabetes. He is now the community engagement and content manager for T1D Exchange.