A Poem On Long Term Illness

I was diagnosed with colitis in 2002 at the age of 24. I after almost four years of ‘spontaneous remission’, flared up (November, 2008). Since that flare began, I’ve been struggling to get it under control.

I wrote this poem during a time when no treatment seemed to work, at least for long. It reflects some of my struggles in coping with long-term illness. Enjoy.

On Illness

A serpent slinks through the body.
In its wake blood and sting.
No hint of conscience or vacillation,
It alters, distorts, and twists,
Vile dreadful thing.

An immutable darkness thick as tar
Cloaks, shades the soul, body and mind—
Death’s inimitable thumbprint tarries;
Cruel foreshadowing.

…Yet wait!

The body retaliates, defies the serpent’s aim.
Light and life recoil death’s path.
A feigning dawn appears;
Deliverance nears.

Taunt death’s touch, smear its print!
Wash the tar, and clear the skin!
Afresh, to begin again.

But—

The grinning green ophidian
lights a cigar, smiles and then
Leisurely looses his venom.
Deform, disfigure, warp and spoil;
Patiently resumes his toil.
Night and dark again, quiet serpent’s anthem.

Current Medications:

I am medication free right now, on the SCD

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illness

One Response to A Poem On Long Term Illness

  1. Peter NZ January 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    I got up to the bit about the serpent but it was too scary and I had to stop, sorry

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