Living with Chronic Pain: Broken


Once I was whole. No, better
than whole, possibilities
strewn at my feet, choices
all mine for the making.

Then I got sick, and broken.

Now I struggle to fly with broken wings.
Old ambitions and desires
irrelevant, crashing down
to earth with new humility.

Always aiming for superlatives,
now grounded with indistinction,
my new insignificance frees me
from the need to be special.

Now I struggle to run with broken legs.
Can’t keep up, can’t catch up,
and the world passes by oblivious
to my desperate thrashing.

All that’s gained is lost
eventually. I jettison years
of accumulation, learn how much
I can do without, pare life down

to bare essentials, and find
the remaining kernel sufficient,
my load much lightened and easy
to swing over obstacles ahead.

Now I struggle to live with a broken spirit.
This, I think, I cannot do.
I languish, lacking spur of vital impulse,
motivation crippled, desire withered.

Paralyzed by apathy, stubborn
hope insists, after broken wings
and broken legs, after the crash
and pain of loss comes possibility

for something new. Anchorless alone
I drift, restrain my swelling panic
at this formless space all around me,
no purchase to be gained on these

feeble clouds, nothing solid to push
either for or against – I struggle only
with myself. And in this void I must trust,
resist the urge to close, and endure,

with broken open heart.

1 thought on “Living with Chronic Pain: Broken

Other thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.