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)
Fragility blindsides –
I am woman.
Courageous, some say –
a sentiment beyond my reach
having not chosen this state.
Fragility is pervasive –
body reduced to miniscule fibers,
stretched, torn, bordering
Overwhelmed, mind obsesses –
will neither organize
nor let go…
If only I could let go…
I am weeping
Weeping from frustration –
immediate impossibility –
Unwilling to weep for totality of loss –
it is beyond me.
Illness is regarded
There is no equality for the disabled
stripped of busy-ness –
renders me as any other
A soul yearning for a meaningful existence.
Maybe illness is the great equalizer.
(The Same, But Broken was first written in December of 2014, when I suffered from severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. It is revised here.)
The body has a voice –
not silent, nor harsh –
it is a knowing.
When ego drives hard –
demanding to be heard –
Block it out!
Let your body speak –
waves of understanding,
gut feelings, truth.
Logic has no place here –
book learning seldom serves
the needs of the soul –
Set it aside.
Listen to your body –
that pounding in the chest,
that sudden surge of vertigo.
Intuition is cellular –
ancient, ancestral instinct;
trust the voice within.
(I originally wrote this in October of 2014, while contemplating how I let myself become so ill. Admittedly, I had for years ignored my body’s signals. Be well all.)
Disability covets isolation, this
stripped-back, box-like state.
Rustic serenity, with breathing
room would be preferable, but
nostalgia creeps in and lack of
self-worth leaves the door open
to unwanted visitors, phantoms
of former torments, nondescript
invaders targeting the lonely,
misconstruing lack of health
for neediness, preying on weak-
hearted, presuming incapability.
I am unwell, not unwanted, effort
to protest ignored, I grow wary of
fellow travelers, am vandalized by
nightly attacks, attempt to reach
out, aim for strength, logic, clarity,
dial-up past abuse instead, cannot
fathom the purpose of unsolicited
persecution, grasping at isolation.