Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Waiting from Within

I wrote this poem several years ago, not long after first becoming bedridden with ME/CFS.


I lie each day
beneath the thick covers of my bed,
my body slowly descending downward
far beyond the realms of exhaustion
and sickness,
as though I am perpetually dying.

And yet,
the very center of my being,
the essence of who I am,
remains deeply alive;
familiar, constant and unyielding.
It exists of a strength and vitality
entirely its own
as it waits silently from within
for its wondrous moment
of release.

For now,
I can only watch as the days pass
outside my bedroom window.
In the distance,
I can hear
a baby crying
and a woman laughing
as birds sing out their songs.
I imagine that their expressions are my own.
They each speak for me
with a voice and a freedom
I do not yet possess.

--LB © 2002

The opening of this poem was inspired by (and slightly borrowed from) the following quote:

“Each day as I would slide into the downward spiral of my symptoms, I would feel as though I were suspended at the edge of death. As if I were perpetually dying.”

Susan Griffin, describing CFS in What Her Body Thought: A Journey into the Shadows


  1. Thank you for sharing your poem. It moved me.

  2. Thanks, Alyson. I felt a bit shy about posting it (I don't usually write poetry), but it also sort of felt nice to get it out there after all these years. :) I'm glad you liked it.

  3. Hello Laurel. Fellow sufferer of M.E. from Louisiana. Am mostly homebound. Seventh year "anniversary" in August. I've enjoyed reading the entries you have here, including the poem. =)

  4. Thanks, nocturnespider! It's always so nice to get feedback. Sorry to hear you have ME as well, but hopefully the answers are around the corner for us. Hang in there. I enjoyed your blog as well. :)

  5. great poem. i'm mostly houseboud for the past 2 l/2 years. it's so great to find other cfs sufferers online who understand what we're going through. thanks for sharing:)

  6. Thanks, beacheejanne. Sorry to hear you are homebound as well. I think there are a lot more of us out there than people realize! Hang in there. Thanks for visiting my blog and for the kind comment. :)

  7. In some odd way it seems good that we're housebound because otherwise we'd have formed a very unruly union. *haha*

  8. What a wonderful poem-thank you for sharing it. I also appreciate the reminder about Susan Griffin's book. I had just heard about it a couple weeks ago but because I didn't write it down I'd forgotten about it. Did you enjoy the book?

  9. Thanks cfswarrior -- I appreciate the compliment! Yes, I did really enjoy Griffin's book. I read it when it first came out and it really resonated with me. It is very well written. I especially liked that she was doing better in the end. :-) I've enjoyed reading your blog posts when I can too, and am so glad to hear you seem to be improving! I hope that continues for you.

  10. Laurel,

    What a beautiful and genuine piece.

    You captured what this existence can be like, so well.

    It would be great in your blog on the forums. :-)

    With love,


  11. Thanks, Jody. You are so wonderfully supportive... and I so appreciate that. :) I may post to the forums at some point. I'm a bit shy with the poetry thing as it's not something I usually write. But I went through a bit of a poetry "spurt" of sorts back in 02... and this was one from the bunch. Thanks for your sweet comments!

  12. wonderful Poem! It really spoke to me and I realised that I feel the same as you! Ive had M.E for about 10 years! I also have physical disabilities as I was born with amniotic band syndrome which left me with deformed hands and feet. I suffer from chronic pain in my feet and use a wheelchair to ease it! but M.E is by far the worst affliction I have. I spend any energy I have making sock creatures which I sell online. I cant make too many and its a new venture but I find just being able to do something productive makes me feel better. They have a blog! which really needs updating and I also have a group on facebook. check them out if you have time