This poem is dedicated to my friend Alex, who also battles TM. She helped spark this poem; we were having a deep conversation about this topic a couple weeks ago. She appears in this poem as “a girl”. :p
Our TM stories are very different, and yet we can still relate to each other in many ways!! I thought having another story interwoven into this poem would help get the point across, since the “little thing” vary from person to person. 🙂 Enjoy! I’m proud of this one.
From the time I could hold a pencil,
Could form shaky letters with the graphite tip,
I loved to write.
I’d write stories,
Imaginative and mysterious,
About wizards and dragons and princesses;
About talking flowers and animals, and taking a trip to the moon.
When I was a child,
I had a routine with my father.
A few days a week we’d practice pull-ups in the basement.
He taught me a lot about life with those pull-ups:
“You can always try to do one more.”
He taught me to push myself, and push myself I did,
In every aspect of my life.
I loved roller coasters,
With the biggest drop.
I loved the feeling of my stomach in my chest
And screaming loudly with my arms in the air.
I know a girl
Who loved fuzzy socks and hot showers,
And skipping and dancing while she walked.
When you’re paralyzed,
When you have a chronic illness,
A lot is taken away.
I can’t walk well; she can’t at all.
We can’t run or ride a bike,
And both of us
Pain and fatigue.
And can’t keep up with our homework,
Let alone our friends.
But that’s not what puts a lump in our throats everyday.
When I think of the little things,
Like writing with my right hand,
Or doing pull-ups with my dad,
When I think of riding a roller coaster,
When I think of the pleasant drop of my stomach
Instead of dizziness and pain
That lasts for
I feel sick.
I miss them,
The little things in life.
When people look at someone who’s disabled,
When they find out what ails them,
They say that they’ll
To appreciate the obvious
Like walking and running.
But that’s hardly what people take for granted.
Cannot feel the warmth of the water dripping from the shower head
On her legs;
It’s something most of you experience
No one would give it a second thought,
And yet she’d kill to be able to feel it
Just once more.
It might not seem like much,
Since she can’t feel the wind traveling through her hair
As she runs,
Or move anywhere
Without pushing the metal rims
On hard rubber wheels.
When she sees the water
Slashing across her lifeless legs
The warmth is what she imagines and longs for.
You write with your dominant hand
You use it to write out checks,
To scribble out a grocery list,
To write a quick note to your mom:
“I’m at Jane’s house”.
You’ve written like that since kindergarten;
There’s no reason to give it
A second thought.
But I miss it.
I miss writing with my right hand,
But I can’t.
Paralysis has ruined it
And it’s doubtful it’ll be
Yes, it’s the little things that hurt the most;
We may never know them again.
It’s the little things that make my heart ache,
That make me the most nostalgic.
It’s the little things I most often wish to have back.
Things are the ones we do
The things that are part of a routine,
The ones we are most used to,
Are small puzzle pieces in life
That leave holes
When taken away.
And we want to find those pieces,
To put them back where they belong
Because they create a sense
Because when so much of your life has been taken away,
When so much is missing,
You crave the little things