The Same, But Broken

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.

And, yet…

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.)

The Leap

Freezing drizzle
and aching joints
elevate doubt

We are forging
into unknowns,
claiming change

His motivation
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.

Sufficiency

Disability corners me
twixt two directions –
the hurried rush
of ambition’s call
and the gentle nudge
of wisdom settling

Confined to four rooms
I am distanced from –
invisible to –
the weekend warriors
whose self-satisfied grimaces
race by my window

I remember that push –
not enough hours to the day
not enough money to succeed
never thin enough, fit enough
always grasping for more…

Legless and exhausted,
I am disqualified
from competing,
immersed in retrospection,
luxuriating in perspective –

I’ve always had, indeed,
continue to have
everything I need:
a home I can navigate,
the endless beauty of nature
and the care of loved ones.

Abundance, I’ve discovered, is attitude:
recognition and acceptance
that life is sufficiency

(I’ve derived this poem from a post by the same name, dated October 2014.
At the time, I was five months into the losses that were Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Image my own)

Good Afternoon

Dawn breathes an invitation and Rumi’s words taunt me: Do not go back to sleep. I am loathe to greet the day – not that I despise its arrival, rather that waking has become laborious since the onset of chronic illness. Daughter of a military man, I am conditioned to rise before the sun, have a lifetime of such anecdotes to my credit, however; while the brain is still willing, the body groans, and aches wail with renewed emphasis as the numbing cocoon of sleep loosens. Hours dwindle from the first inkling of consciousness until muscles comply with movement, and I am lucky if I’m actually able to utter “Good Morning.”

Rays, like razors, slice,
invade sleep’s cocoon – absent
winged emergence.

(Good Afternoon first appeared here Sept 2018. Edited for this edition. The poetry form is haibun. I am pleased to report that waking has become easier, and most days I am able to greet the morning.)

The Other Side

Wind carries Autumn’s song
and I am crawling out of a nightmare

Insides churning widdershins
thoughts grasping for a forward pull

Have been to the edge,
touched the volatile

Birdsong breaks solemnity
I catch a ray of light.

(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson
Last September, I was in hospital fighting
through a life threatening condition.
I penned this there. Image my own.)

Who Am I, If Not Responsible?

This pedestal of responsibility
has elevated me, out of reach,
out of touch – lumps together
children, mate, mother, sister…

Caregiver extraordinaire
present overcrowded by
obligations…am unwell,
off topic, fed up, surely…

I am other abled, have room
for more – not martyr related –
hesitant to plan, my purpose
for being so intricately tuned

to the needs of others, should
quit while I’m ahead – silence
the inner nag – free us all
from this unhealthy game.

(This poem first appeared on One Woman’s Quest II
in September, 2016. Edited here. Image my own.)

Devilish This Fear

Devil borrows
Twilight’s voice
tortures sensibility

Tangled bedclothes
grumble, inflexible
bedmates – unsupportive

Where is reason?
my mind wails
heart drumming discord

I access light,
perch on edge of bed
will myself to breathe

(My dear husband is in hospital again, his fifth surgery to reconstruct his knee. It’s been a long ordeal and my heart bleeds for him. Fear is an awful bedmate. I submit this poem in response to the promptings of Eugi’s Weekly prompt: twilight and Reena’s Xploration challenge: devil. Image my own.)

Karma Bites

She looks over my shoulder
that sister, born dying –
whom I mocked, cajoled
and judged so harshly

She breathes down my neck
that sister, I despised
for her sin, and mistakes
how she always abandoned me

She taunts me constantly
ridicules my failing ways
her thoughts poisoned darts
attack me at my core

My eyes are opening,
compassion too late
“Karma bites”, her ghost
hisses as illness seeps in.


(For Reena’s Xploration Challenge: karma bites. Image my own)