Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What Our Friends Don't See


What Our Friends Don’t See

I just got out of bed
I’m stretching my calves
then doing other stretches
precariously holding on to the top of the tall dresser

there is a crash from the kitchen
Howie opened a cupboard
and my coffee mug
fell out and onto
a favorite ceramic bowl
breaking them both

Jackie starts crying and screams,
this is what sets me off
we have other people in our house helping us
they put things in the wrong places
they fall out and break
then there’s glass on the floor
I’ll cut my foot
I’m trying to make Howie breakfast
he’s late for school again
now the sink disposal is going to break

Barbara stops by to drop off my computer
I listen to them talk, laugh and cry

I’m on the floor of our bedroom on my yoga mat
doing my morning floor exercises
thinking to myself,
usually I tell them where everything goes
but yesterday I went to the bathroom
while Gail did dishes

I do a mountain pose on my back
arms stretched overhead, feet straight
head tilted back
it feels good and safe
Barbara leaves taking Buddy
we have appointments in Bozeman all day

I do my floor routine
end with shavassana
then roll over and try to get up
I struggle to get on all fours
the yoga mat is too sticky
I forgot to push it out of the way
I can’t get up on all fours
I roll over onto my back
Jackie wants to help me
I’m out of breath
I say to her,
this is what our friends don’t see

she rolls up my yoga mat
and says, but they read about it

I roll onto my stomach
get up on my elbows
and with all my strength
manage my way onto all fours
I lean on the seat of my walker
propped up against Jackie’s desk
slowly, one bent foot, one bent leg,
one bent arm, at a time
I lift myself up
grab the handles of the walker

and stand up


  1. Mark, I continue to keep up with your blog and hold you and your family in my heart. xoxo

  2. Thank you for this look into your life, Mark. It can be nearly impossible for others, even our friends and family, to understand what it's like for people like us who live with disabilities. I'm also glad that, as difficult as the challenges in this poem are, it ends with a positive and hopeful tone.