3 Comments

  1. Jacky
    April 4, 2017 @ 6:48 pm

    There’s a red patch just above my right ankle; been there for weeks. Now I have a rash on both ankles. I’ve scratched and there are little scabs. My toe nails are growing out funny. My arches ache. I tell myself none of this is serious, that my GP is not concerned, that a little loving care will clear it all up. That these are only symptoms of age.
    But I obsess that these scars are symptoms of diabetes, that one day I’ll need an amputation. That I just can’t seem to keep my sugars stable lately and I’m doing myself permanent harm.

    I’m going to go and massage my feet. I’m going to soak them in bubbles, and use oils and creams. I’m going to do my exercises and make a sensible meal. I’m going to cuddle my husband and stroke the cat.

    This rainy day is for good resolutions. I already feel better.

  2. Tonya
    April 11, 2017 @ 8:06 pm

    When I see it – the inch long, raised scar on the upper part of my left arm – I remember going out to a party with (ex), which in turn makes me remember how naive I can be, and how untrustworthy he is. It also reminds me of how small the space is that the dresser is in, and how much I would love to have my own space. A home. For (daughter) and I to be free to be ourselves.
    The scar reminds me me how quickly things can go wrong, and when you least expect it.
    I take comfort in the fact that though I have had many a bump and scrape through life, my skin is resilient. I like to think the same can be said about me, and my ability to accept the things I cannot change.

  3. Hannah
    April 22, 2017 @ 3:00 am

    Thin Red Line
    By Hannah Renglich

    The line above my left eyebrow
    reaching up to my hairline
    makes itself visible
    every morning
    alive as a red strand
    snaking across my forehead
    in the bathroom mirror
    looking like a strange
    creased paper mark

    When I see it I remember
    lying on the neuropathologist’s table
    at Sunnybrook Hospital
    the umpteenth appointment
    in a year filled with referrals

    The feeling of floating
    in the middle of my own life

    The painting on the ceiling tile
    directly above me in the room

    The sensation of blue paper
    hospital dress against my skin

    The cold between my white socks
    and the bottom of the gown

    I can feel the awful probing
    of a fine needle in my forehead
    ‘sweeping’ under my skin for nerve
    endings When
    will this end?

    The most horrible pain searing
    backward through my head
    and the patronizing older gentleman
    an expert
    with no bedside manner
    who doctored me in such a way
    that a test left a scar

    I remember the kind technician
    who ran the electric shock tests
    that jolted my muscles to jump
    in ways my brain was not involved in
    and the rush of fear
    pain
    panic
    sickened by my mind’s flitting
    to concentration camps, electric chairs,
    and the sudden shift in intention of my breathing
    from healing myself in the moment
    to breathing with my ancestors
    behind me
    and brothers, sisters, kin
    across the globe who’d ever known
    this feeling at any magnitude
    against their will

    I remember the unnerving sensation
    discovered the next day of someone
    tugging hair at the crown of my head
    every time my hand brushed
    over that little red line
    a phantom reaction
    a nervous system locally altered
    an invasion that continues to
    probe me at unexpected moments
    to this day
    reminding me
    I survived
    a really hard time
    tremendous uncertainty
    perpetual red herrings
    precarity on every level
    and learned
    grace under fire
    how to make a nervous
    health professional laugh
    self-advocacy
    and that fine poems
    are born in hard times

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