John 3:8

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Dengue Remembered

At this time last year, I was recovering from a tropical, mosquito-borne disease on the opposite side of the world. It was not a pretty or fun couple weeks of being sick, but God's grace was all over it. I've never wanted to complain about this experience, and I am not starting now. I was, however, compelled to document it as I recalled the experience in recent days. I was inspired to write a bit of unconventional poetry...well, I think it explains itself.
Dengue Remembered

              get sick
              get sick
           head imploding                
                                                          eyes stab like a shish-ka-bob
    joints aching             
                  bones breaking     
                                              heat rises
                   sweat falls
                     “HAVE FAITH IN GOD” sticks                             
                                                                              like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth.
                                       in the cauldron
             liquids in, liquids out                         
         pills popping
                                            friends stopping
                                                  faces like a whack-a-mole
                                                                         cool rag to the skin
                      and muscle-kneading
(needed more than they know)
           a rocky road to become the specimen.

short, small breaths
heart racing in my chest
room spins
head hangs, light
try to force a little bite
‘nother ride, to the ward.
                                                  needles pricking, sticking
                                           into my veins
                  chair glides
    I slide
 in and out of sleep                               
pills popping                                                                 
friends stopping                                                                                       
faces like a whack-a-mole                                         
joints aching                         
bones breaking   
thirst-slaking all day long.
Night has come.
Rear is numb
from bed-inhabiting.
strange sounds from the tube invade my ears;
Attempt to prevent my brain to hear.
awake once again--                                                                     
what hour on the clock?
                                                                                      a pump, a prick, bandage applied.
     always waking,
waking to a nurse by my side.                                                           
--a surge of angst whirls—PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD.
daylight comes; type out an email.
out my window, a beautiful day.
Forced nutrition:
Sip and nibble
just to please...
liquids in, liquids out.
Rising is slow; steady now, steady.
for all I’m not eating, my body is heavy.
friends become family--measuring liquid gold.
measure, discard.
measure, discard.
days and nights
meld together;
stream of people,
ebb and flow.

moment of calm--
Jesus speaks through a father’s placid voice
He walks on the water, He calms the sea.
tears escape, push their way through
the veil that’s been closed too tight to undo.

Pills still popping
friends still stopping in to say hi,
raise a prayer.
Joints release aching
fever breaking
spots appear
claw at the surface
for what’s deep within;
looks like the circus
is under my skin.
Platelets dropped; need some extra.
people talk
come and go;
faces like a whack-a-mole
here’s the bag
white liquid first.
feels cold;
--my wrist could burst!
long smooth strokes
repeat and knead.
drifting off--
what slurred speech??
Another sun
cold food on a tray.
Red meat I can’t eat
nor do I want.
doc says good, it’s going up.
I’m ready to bathe
it’s been ten days.
I’m flaky
as we ride,                 
I’ll close my eyes.                                                
sun burns bright                                                                                     
steps falter, I grasp any arm I can find.                                                                                     
Weeks pass and hours are filled with words on pages,
shows on TV I haven’t seen for ages.
coffee-smoothies, mango, ice cream.
second family was formed, thankful prayers are said.
Savory dishes, dogs, bed.
Rest and repeat.

but please,
don’t repeat.

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