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Photo of Catherine Hale, a middle aged woman with white white, lying on her side in bed wearing a flowery dressing a

The disease is back

The one that blows my mind
And stops me in my tracks
The disease, weak at the knees, that takes my breath away.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s been there all along.
But we’d reached an understanding, or so I thought.
That in return for thirty years of loss
I’d be allowed a life of sorts.
A charmed existence I’ve led these past 12 months.
Sitting, miraculously upright, in a chair, at a desk for four hours a day.
Typing thoughts, speaking words, changing the world.
And touching grass, as the young people say, almost every day. Treading this blessed earth like I was back from the dead. Skin meeting sun.
Foolishly imagining I’d won. By sheer bloody-minded refusal to lie low, I fancied I had had gathered enough strings of energy in my bow to prevail over the tides.

But no. It turns out it was churning away in the depths of my cells, a rip tide of nerve signals, gathering force. And now the waves are upon me.

Wave after wave of massive attack; the disease is back.
The disease that blows my mind to smithereens
That stops me in my tracks; that pins me down.
That takes my breath away and pulls my chest tight.

It has returned. Strange and uncharted as life on the ocean deep.
It’s pulling me down, it has knee-capped my fight. 


I've never tried or aspired to write poetry in my life. But these words came into my brain at a time when a severe flare up of ME/CFS left me unable to walk, sit upright, read or write an email.



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