Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sword and Shield OR A Fight to the Better End


[Update (Oct 18 2016): It is more than two years now since my fall that resulted in a badly fractured ankle. The warned me tt the hospital that, given my age, I might never walk again, but I was having none of that, kept religiously to a daily schedule of physiotherapy and can now walk quite well with the aid of a walking stick. Yes, walking is sometimes painful still, but it is a great feeling to be out and about. The prostate cancer, too, remains under control with hormone therapy. So...no worries that I cannot overcome by reflecting on my late mother's words, 'If you worry, you'll die and if you don't worry you'll still die one day so...why worry?' I guess we just have to keep a sense of proportion.]

Since my fall, five weeks ago, I have had to exercise a degree of patience I did not know I possessed. I am always out and about, but have been housebound as the front steps are too many and steep for me to negotiate with crutches. Unable to put any weight on my left foot, a Zimmer frame gives me greater mobility around my flat. It has taken until last week for a CT scan to reveal a fracture in the heel so now I have a cast and must continue hopping around on the Zimmer for at least another five weeks. The heel may mend or it may not. I must wait and see…

I live alone, but friends and my lovely neighbours in the flat below have been a godsend, helping with shopping and everyday tasks around the flat that I cannot do myself. Their support means everything. Even so, there have been moments when I have felt very low; it was at just such a time that I had a spirited debate with Pain and wrote the poem, a kenning.

SWORD AND SHIELD or A FIGHT TO THE BETTER END

True, I am no friend
but do not mean you harm,
will arrive uninvited
(and most unwelcome)
yet do my best
to make my stay as bearable
as possible,
coaxing mind, body and spirit
to comfort, find peace

I may bring clouds
and wintry days, but always
call on spring flowers
and scents of halcyon days
to brighten dark corners
where you may well cower
from everyday hardship,
and a growing sense of bleaker
times yet to come

True, I am no friend,
but I have the power to make
stronger person of you
if you will only rise above
the worst and make
the best of our time together,
let mind, body and spirit
make peace with even a wretch
the likes of me

As Pain its makeshift sword wields,
so peace and love, lasting shields

Copyright R. N. Taber 2014




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