It Means

It’s a beautiful day in Cincinnati; breezy and cool, though sunny. It’s the kind of day I love. It’s the kind of day I would love to have something to do. That said, I don’t want to go to a movie. I don’t want to go shopping. In fact, I don’t want to do anything indoors. Therefore, I don’t know what to do. Nothing really seems appealing. Should I have lunch in the park? Should…
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Multiple Sclerosis

There is no poetry in “Multiple Sclerosis.” It falls flat in the ear, a siren in place of music and meter. Like the disease itself in the body, it is a silence loud as a crow’s caw in the solitude of a warm afternoon.  It comes to this: listening to the way muscles refuse the project of movement, to sad hands that once grasped with strength and fervor but now abandon that work for erratic…
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I am Afraid

I am Afraid I am afraid, afraid I will never be the same again. I once dreamed of being a published poet, an award- winning teacher who spent her life in the classroom surrounded by students who love me. I am afraid that what I began years and years ago will never come to fruition. I am afraid that when I am gone I will simply be gone, that no one will remember me. I…
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Betrayal of Dreams

Dreams, forever forgetful and fond of fiction, tend toward betrayal. More often than not these days, I dream myself standing, walking– gliding, really–down hallways, up staircases, into dances. In sleep, my body exists only to satisfy its mind, settles into blissful illusions of its own ability. Beast that I am, I wake each morning wholly convinced by the night’s movement, once again sure that this disease, like all those before it, has run its course…
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Going To Bed

For the first time in a long time I’m going to bed by myself. That doesn’t mean that I’m sleeping alone; what it does mean is that I’m going upstairs, changing my clothes, and getting into bed by myself. It has been three and half months since I have been home after my seizures. For all that time we’ve had a woman come down me into bed. Last week, though, I told Deb that I…
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That Sitter

My maternal grandmother was sick. She had lupus the entire time I knew her. I really did not know her very well. She was sick. I knew my grandfather by the embrace he gave me every time he saw me. It hurt so much that I knew he loved me with wild abandon. He laughed as he hugged me. With wild abandon. He had a laugh that was contagious; he was tall and lovely. He…
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My Grandmother Was a Drunk

My paternal grandmother was a drunk. My sister and I took advantage of that. We had her take us to the mall and buy us anything we wanted. The only price we had to pay was that we had to endure her “lunches.” They always occurred on the top floor of Macy’s department store. It was a fancy restaurant where she could order drinks. My sister and I had lunch in my grandmother ordered drinks.…
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My Grandmother

My grandmother would have loved what the current owners have done with the house my grandparents lived in when I was a child. The exterior is lovely. She was lovely. In her glory days she and my grandfather threw fabulous parties, entertained their friends with laughter, with drinks in glasses emblazoned with their initials, with bridge mix in crystal bowls. I remember them with their guests marching through the house in a conga line. She’d…
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To Be Invisible

In the years since my diagnosis, Deb and I have talked frequently about her cousin Suzie. In the mid-1950s, when she was in her late teens, Suzie was diagnosed with a progressive form of MS, and the constant progression of her symptoms curtailed any plans she had for attending college and enjoying a career. Instead, she spent much of her life confined to a manual wheelchair and isolated in her own home. By the time…
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