I wrote this poem several years ago, not long after first becoming bedridden with ME/CFS.
WAITING FROM WITHIN
I lie each day
beneath the thick covers of my bed,
my body slowly descending downward
far beyond the realms of exhaustion
as though I am perpetually dying.
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
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