Ankylosing Spondylitis - Poem by Conor Dowd
I wake and try to shake the threads of broken sleep from me.
Not easy. Not by any means.
I'm troubled by my dreams.
You see, I've tossed and turned all night
and wrestled in my sleep,
now on my back or side
and I haven't found a posture I could keep.
The pain shoots down my left hand side,
like lightning focussed,
like thunderbolts of light a hundred times applied.
It darts along my vertebrae and bone.
It won't leave me alone.
I have an image of my nerve-ends all alone -
tectonic plates that grind against the bone,
red warning lights along a danger zone.
Two letters that belie what lies behind them.
They mean not resting when you need to,
not sleeping when you try to.
They mean a fossilizing sense of stone that
clings to every piece of bone...
Two slips of Solpadeine in water
and minutes later bring a numb relief,
outside the birdsong just begins
and minutes later I dissolve in sleep.
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