I’m from the aches and pains of everyday life.
I am from blood tests, from Holter Monitors, Echoes, MRIs and Wechsler scales.
I’m from Otolaryngologists, Neurologists, Psychiatrists, Osteopaths, Naturopaths, Accupuncturists and the ER.
I am from this is it and that is it and nothing is wrong with you.
I am from the blank stare against the soft yellow wall, uncountable specks on a popcorn speckled ceiling, and curtains hanging unopened on the second floor;
From hands on the stairs all the way up, and white knuckled sheer-will all the way down.
I am the golden sofa carrying secrets that were not mine to tell.
I am plastic boxes bulging with capsules, B12 the hard way, and thick yellow Mepron sliding through my throat.
I am the unblooms of teasel and milk thistle, arriving from amazon.com in cold brown pharmacy glass wrapped in bubblewrap.
I am from tea when that’s all there is to give;
From checking in and waiting.
I am from colder than Siberia that only sleep can warm.
I am from heaven sent denial and stupid stubborn faith.
I am from Three Little Birds and love notes on the bedroom mirror.
I am from too many good-byes.
I’m from seeking the light and finding it had never had gone out.
I’m from Buffalo New York, and shrimp scampi every Christmas Eve.
I’m from Matthew and Nathaniel cooking birthday meals of steak on the grill and Jambalaya;
From Fluffy and Gruffy, the mayor and the clown;
From Joe, holding my hand and breathing me into being over and over again.
I’m from photos in boxes stacked high against new garage walls, poems protected by Carbonite, and journals hidden where I won’t say.
I am from wishes made only in dreams and anger spoken only to a backlit screen and few memories to understand either;
From photos in flash drives and songs still trapped in six steel strings.
I am paint and ink and waterproof pens.
I am board and tile and vellum sheets.
I am mysterious mandalas and flowers forged in fire.
I am freshly black coated canvas waiting for the cool white pen.
This poem was written in response to Writing Coach Podcast Series: I am From, by Ann Kroeker, on Tweetspeak Poetry. Ann shared a type of poem, the I am From type of poem, along with her own piece. There is a podcast on the page, so listen along and then follow links to the resources listed on the page. Maybe you'll find a poem, too. :) I'd love it if you'd share yours, too!
You can hear more from Ann by following her podcast, Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach. You might also want to pick up a copy of the wonderful book Ann co-authored with Charity Singleton Craig, On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts.
My heart was a pond,
full of koi
squirmmy and swelling and swarming upstream,
coming to rest in my throat-
hush swoosh swoosh, hush, rush, swoosh.
They’d skitter in,
those slippery koi,
no sense of rhythm or proper meter-
poor blameless, legless fish
unable to practice such things.
Skip, skip, skip, skip, and then
like fish falling down a flight of stairs
slipskipskipboom[ ]skipboomslip[ ][ ][ ]boom[ ]skipslipskip, skip,
skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip,
as if there was no fish frenzy just beneath
Each slippery, skipping koi
carries a sliver
Long before my diagnoses of Lyme, Ehrlichia, Babesia, and Bartonella, my heart was trying desperately to tell me something was wrong. I, in turn, tried to tell doctor after doctor but it took 8 years before I knew what it was. Today I journeyed back in my mind, thinking about how hard I tried, how dismissed I felt,, and realizing how angry I feel... still. Today I painted my heart rate and today I imagine (and almost feel) my chest full of skittering koi, swimming wildly. I can still remember how scared I was.
We are, each of us, carrying gold with every heart beat.
Each of us.
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