by proverbial truck Unexpectedly, I claim denying accountability
Sure, I took chances
crossed the line Rebelliously ignored limits, road signs
Driven by compassion
Saw the danger too late
swerving only mitigated damage
Humiliated by the impact
reckless ego smarting.
(image my own)
Yielding Spirit Tampered Enthusiasm Mute Incomprehensible Challenge
(M.E. or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is said to be systemic. Every so often it reminds me so I attempt to write through it. Image and poem my own)
Progress, seldom linear,
tosses me into unexpected decline, stranded and incapacitated.
My son with labour-hardened arms
leaps to my side, steadying me and I feel the fear in his caring grip
My daughter, ever compassionate,
reaches out, eyes filled with horror as my body crumples onto the bed.
My husband, my oak, seeks to comfort
his voice betraying the helplessness this futile predicament imposes.
Beloveds, I know that you see me
this dis-abled, non-functioning shell weakened and sickly, lying on this bed
Do not be deceived-
it is only an illusion – vessel temporarily fettered
I am in essence, as before
ambitions and desires intact hold this version of me
Sense the wholeness of my being
the woman I am yet to be – my spirit stands strong.
(My Spirit Stands Strong first appeared here August, 2015; edited for this version.
Image my own)
There is safety in apart-ment living;
would corral the little ones, declare responsibility, obligations as a mask for this self-banishing compulsion… except that I am lying prone, exposed – brains spilling onto concrete – shadows revealing the darkness of my condition, hopelessly locked in physical inertia.
I am an unwitting contributor to
scientific (and pseudo) probing: audacious autopsies pronouncing conclusive evidence of motives.
Too polite (and weakened) to deflect,
I submit, demonstrating complacency, sacrificing autonomy; fail to assert that it is I who is taking this life test.
And, by the way, am passing quite
adequately, which defies all rational diagnosis and prognosis, and serves to reassure me of ultimate success.
first appeared here June, 2016. Image my own.) Not Dead Yet
Slippers, perched at night stand,
twitching impatiently, mark the absence of feet, cannot appreciate the meaning of unruffled bed covers.
Abandoned, a coffee mug
bemoans its curdling contents, complains of thick brown lines contaminating its porcelain shine, has not noted absence of hands.
Chair, pushed back from desk,
in partial rotation, sits awkwardly, commanding attention, disturbed by its misalignment, has not thought to ponder absence of body.
House, uncomfortable with silence,
creaks unnaturally, loudly voicing objections to the absence of footfalls, automated machinery and incessant rings, beeps, and chimes of technology.
I try to reassure them that the absence
is only temporary, that the man whose presence so strikingly fills this space will return, hope they cannot read the apprehension in my tremulous heart.
was written six years ago, while my husband recovered from a triple bypass. Image my own.) Absence
Ask me how I’m doing
and I’ll say “fine”, not because I’m actually fine, but because “fine” is the only socially acceptable response.
If I said that I have been lying
here, for three hours now, willing my body to move, that would elicit unsolicited advice and tarnish my “fine”.
I’d berate myself for breaking
my promise not to moan, knowing that complaining provokes a compulsive need to fix, which just infuriates me
Because my concept of trying –
which is defined by getting dressed each day – does not match trying every new therapy, drug, exercise offered by well-meaning but clueless
others, who may experience fatigue
at times, but have no understanding of what is is to be exhausted after something as simple as bathing, let alone debating what I haven’t tried.
So, ask me how I’m feeling, and
I’ll say “fine” and we move on to the weather, or the latest movie must-see, and I can bask in the warmth of the contact
carry the conversation into the
void of the rest of my day, smile to think that I still have friends who accept my “fine” even though they know I anything but…
Re first appeared here February, 2016. Edited here. Image my own) -de-fine-d
In illness, I am passenger –
no matter how venturous mind’s reach, the raw truth is that limitations confine
This is not a sentence
for some perceived crime, but a re-framing – attitude shifting to acceptance
Choice becomes thoughtful –
time allows for that now – and gratitude takes hold in every corner of “I can”.
(Art my own)
Fragility blindsides me –
I am a strong woman, not courageous but accepting in face of pain, grief, illness.
Fragility is pervasive –
body fibres stretched and torn, on brink of brokenness; mind overwhelmed, obsesses, unable to organize or let go…
If only I could let go.
I am weeping and not –
weeping from frustration of immediate impossibility; unwilling to weep, for totality of loss is beyond me.
Outside these walls,
life continues, regards me with disgust/ indifference/repulsion – equality ignores the ailing.
in this state of rawness,
stripped of busy-ness, I am as any other –
Just a soul seeking
a meaningful existence. ( The Same, But Broken first appeared here December, 2014. This edition has been revised. Art my own.)
Leave the door open…
surely this foray into docile distraction will pass… Sun is promising a re-emergence, stirs an inclination
I may find purpose, yet…
harness these sultry thoughts and venture out that door….
(Image my own)
and aching joints elevate doubt
We are forging
into unknowns, claiming change
drive for both – I quiet objections
Faith, I have in him
Trust, I have in process, Hope as my beacon
Many a storm
has passed our way – the choice is easy
Stay and rot
or risk and thrive – hand in hand, we leap.
(Four years ago, Ric and I sold our house and all our possessions and headed south in a motor home. Both of us had experienced life-altering medical crises, and the alternative – staying put and waiting for the next health challenge – was not appealing, so we took the leap. After two years, we returned and settled in a small community not far from family. Health continues to be an issue, but armed with the memories of our travels, we face each day grateful for our choices.)
Image my own.