Sedentary

Spent the day in prone silence –
first as a human pin cushion
in the naturopath’s office –
motionless except my mind
pouring over Christmas plans.

Later, beside my granddaughter,
three-year-old arms akimbo
daring not to budge, until her
innocent breaths deepened –
my body burning to move.

Now, the window of energy
closed, I lie here with you,
no longer motivated to sort
or organize, my brain spent –
mindless poem on fingertips.

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Moments of Glory

Went for a walk today –
pushed my chariot out the door,
faltered after it and set out –
a beautiful, sun-blessed day!

It was an act of independence –
defying shooting pain in shins,
a groaning hip,  an obstinately
bent spine – Carpe Diem, said I.

Two houses, three, I smiled
at passersby – “Beautiful day!”
our celebratory chorus – three,
four houses, freedom mine.

Five, six – I could see the corner
shops – half a block away – why
I bought this house – everything
close – until fated out of reach.

Then I felt it – that indescribable
shift in my spine, a warning –
shut down imminent – retreat!
Confidence melted into panic.

Now steps became a shuffle,
each foot dragged forward,
back curving in on itself, will
on full throttle – get me home.

Two houses more – you can
do it – husband stands at door
telling me to take my time –
No! No! Time is running out!

I stumble inside – find comfort
in the familiarity of my bed
think about giving into tears
then remember – the sun’s rays

generously washing over pale
housebound skin, the smell of
autumn, just before the cold –
a rare mid-November warmth

and I smile – a victorious,
proud recognition of how,
Nature offered a rare gift –
and I, for once, partook of it.

A Friend, Indeed

Friend, you guide
my brain-fogged,
somnambulist limbs –
like a mindless automaton;
I follow, barely registering
movement – grateful for
deliverance into the
fullness of day.

Once, I abhorred
your consistency,
your stifling repetition,
found your dependency
mind-numbing, soulless –
suffocated in your lack
of notoriety – called you
unremarkable.

Undaunted, you persist,
morally unbiased, life-
affirming, ignoring
lethargy’s blood-
sucking hold, lifting
me, comforting,
habitually reliable,
blessed routine.

Juxtaposed

Muted shades of browns
and greys
define my black and white
existence
while succulent pink skies
explode in my dreams: neon
green vibrancy beckoning,
enticing – rude reminders.

My life is measured in
handfuls
one visit a week, two
outings
three phone calls, seven
minutes
for standing, fifteen for
sitting.
I dream in exponentials
multiples of numbers,
unlimited possibilities,
combinations, outcomes.

I live a stripped down
dirt floor
one room, structurally
unsound
solitude, boundary-less
instability
and dream of concrete
cities, institutions housing,
nurturing, protecting, life
with abundance – crowds.

How do I resign myself
to this juxtaposed reality,
fill in the missing gaps,
find sustenance in a void?

Acceptance is shattered,
faith
undermined, storm clouds
intensifying
threatening cyclones of
chaos
blacken the horizon, no
bottom
in sight to ease this soul.

Only in dreams will I find
my legs, run with mercy,
embrace freedom, and
know fullness of spirit,
fueling one more day
of survival,
until I am once again
whole.

Disability’s Rant

It’s not that I’m not open
to new perspectives –
I am aware of daylight
beyond these walls –
conscious that mine is
not the only viewpoint.

It’s just that the inflexibility
of this existence is unrelenting,
and I have come to see opposing arguments
in the bleak morbidity of aging –
am having doubts about the willingness
of skilled, principled, professionals
whose rigorous platforms require
energetic, sheltered, regard.

I am lacking confidence
in my ability to articulate –
sanitizing personal inkling,
disinfecting institutional
impotency.

What lesson have I signed up for?
How is it I’ve found myself,
mired in sterility,
shrouded in grey,
an unwitting student
in my own life?

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The Red Box

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“I am sending you a red box,”
the voice says in my dream
(a dream within a dream, really).
“Will you be there to receive it?”

An image of a lipstick-red, life-sized,
shiny red box dances in my head.
“I will!” I say, wondering who would
send me such an extravagant gift.

“Will you be coming, too?”
I add quickly, remembering manners.
I am asleep, if you recall, have no idea
who I am speaking to: a poor connection.

“Do you know who I am?” asks caller.
“Yes, of course!” I respond, not actually
knowing at all,  trying to be polite.
“Looking forward to it.” Am I?

“You don’t sound surprised.”
“Surprised and delighted!” I assure,
falsely – in this semi-consciousness,
sensibility has not yet set in.

Only when I disconnect, do I panic.
Some distant memory surfaces,
a vague recollection of indiscretion –
have I invited danger into my house?

Now, I am awake – faculties firing,
heart still beating, curious/ alert.
What could this mean, this
dream within a dream?

Look to where my mind went –
larger than life expectations,
when no such detail was revealed –
was the panic just as unwarranted?

Am I subconsciously mocking:
commenting on the instability
of thought processes, in this
altered state of health?

I ponder meaning, wonder at
the significance of red boxes,
when my husband delivers –
a small, red patterned box.

“I won this for you,” he says.
Three beaded necklaces inside.
I thank him, dismissively, rapt
in my mystery, inattentive –

I’m sending you a red box;
was the message, will you be
present to receive it? –
Oh God!
The pieces fall in place.

Presence alone heals
weakening connections,
honest communication,
with expectations aside.

Distraction, fear, anxiety
are the undermining factors
that rape relationships
turn us from the actual gift.

I am awake, but dreaming
suspended between fantasies
of promising futures, and insults
from the past – selfish indulgence.

Marriage is the red box,
in its ever altered form –
offering endless gifts if
only we’d receive it.

 

Adrenal Spin

Death has visited us,
and subsequently,
visitations, and
a funeral.

Ours was a loss
long anticipated,
suffering relieved
by passing on.

Dutifully, I planned
to accompany Mom,
show support, and
represent our side.

Disability answers
to its own drum,
and this added stress
inflamed the beat.

Attempts at resting,
met fired adrenals –
locked on fight/flight
as my mind reeled

conjuring images
of confrontations,
inquisitions, and
judgments, then

raised unrelated
issues unresolved,
spinning webs,
speeding pulse

I spiraled into
a perpetual abyss
of wiry panic –
release unattainable.

Disappointment
my hangover,
as predictably,
I am a no show.

Morning Fog

sludge is my body
sludge is my mind
in the early hours

consciousness fights
for breath
awareness

is swallowed up
submersed
resurfaces
fragmented
overloaded

messages chime
phones ring
voices
worlds away

the altered reality
of disability
has claimed me.