Day #9 Poem #9

Today’s Prompt:write a self-portrait poem.

I seem to be writing a bunch of poems that I don’t wish to post on the blog, so once again I am digging into my collection, and posting a poem that meets the prompt at PoeticAsides, even though I didn’t write it recently. This one I wrote 12 years ago.

The Disability

At seventeen I entered the hospital
And when I left four months later
I was bound to a wheelchair
Until my legs found the strength to walk again.

I’d been diagnosed with a disease
Guillain Barre Syndrome
Where the antibodies that formerly destroyed a flu virus
Went on to destroy the insulation around my nerves.

Without the insulation, while my brain
Could still send messages to my muscles,
The messages never reached their destination.
It was as if all the phone lines were dead.

The antibodies were quick. Within 24 hours
I was paralyzed from the neck down.
Luckily the insulation around the nerves
Knows how to regrow. But it’s slow.

The thing I tell people, no one believes
Is I was the first in an epidemic of disabilities.
Before I entered the hospital, wheelchairs
Were few and far between.

Oh, I saw them occasionally,
But after I left the hospital
The numbers grew exponentially.
It can’t be a coincidence.

Laugh, think me insane if you will
But how else would you explain
The phenomena of the few
Before and the many after?

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