My Invisible Illness
The illness my body hosts,
it is a chameleon—clever
and full of surprises.
It disappears for a time
giving false hopes
only to reappear as if harmless.
Its pretense, unconscionable and vindictive
as though envious of my drug-induced, thanks
to science, near pain free idleness.
In its invisibility, the illness tiptoes surreptitiously
into my days and nights like a cat burglar but
dismissive of the hour. It eats away
at the fragility of a new normal
I fought to reconstruct from nothing
but sheer will and stubborn resolve not to surrender
to an invader I cannot see. Its presence
is much like a vengeance.
A force warring against my body,
my life sustaining organs,
leaving me no place to hide because it hides in me.
Clever, indeed, in all its invisibility.
Cruel in its malevolence.
The periodic new normal that medicine allows
Is temporal, but it hypnotizes one to think
I’ve won over the devastation the illness
Inflicts on the body and beyond. Wretchedly
this invisible illness ransacks
the reserves of energy
I’ve quietly and painstakingly
collected over time, amidst tears
and when ravaged in unspeakable pain.
The invisible illness my body hosts
Is an unwelcome guest. When it cries for attention,
It does so when least expected, and it demands
I cry in chorus with it. I feel
every bitter taste and pulsating pain
leaving me zapped and tormented.
I cower momentarily
but continue to breathe through
the invasion, hopeful for my spirit
to transcend the broken bridge I must cross.
One more snag, one more of life’s trials
with which I must make peace while
remaining faithful and true to the mission
I must still fulfill on earth despite this illness.
This invisible affliction, millions of us have come
to know thy name—Rheumatoid Arthritis.
We know thee well, the invisible illness our bodies host.
Thou hast not stopped lolling in and out
my door like a chameleon toying
with my earthly life. Thou art a hurdle
but not an obstruction dampening my will.
Poem ©Lu Sobredo 2021
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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