Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury. A poem.

It’s like fire
A cruel flame burning, persistent
Water resistant
Sometimes a niggle or an itch
Others a real downright bitch

For every speed bump or pothole
A breathtaking thud
From the very depths of my soul
I gasp inward

And when I sing to my son ‘heads shoulders knees and toes’ I think wow, I can’t remember the last time I felt those, gave them a wiggle
Now the only chance they have of a wriggle is when my brain goes and sends the wrong signal

I need the loo?
Stone in my shoe?
Unwanted muscle contraction
My Achilles heel
Literally, my Achilles heels are always trying to trip me up, it’s called clonus
An added bonus

Conversations start
“Hi nice to meet you”
“Hi what’s wrong with your legs?”
I understand that’s all you can see but actually
There’s more going on internally
Neurologically, urologically, gastrointestinally, orthopaedically
Unfortunately impaired mobility is just a fraction of my disability

So if you see me with my wheelchair or walker on the street
Please don’t look at me quizzically
Or lower your eyes in sympathy
A smile would go down nicely

Because I know I’m different
I’m still upright
But I’m not quite right

Sometimes I’m even dismissed by the SCI community
Did you know there’s a ‘worse off’ hierarchy?
I should think myself lucky
T12/l1 incomplete spinal cord injury

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