Thursday 16 May 2013


Gustave Klimt
I lie,
fallen tree.

Yesterday, they
cut a hole in me
three needles thick

They read my paper skin
in Braille and rust
and bone

They sucked my limbs
of milk and marrow
and when I cried for home 

They sought my neck
pale birch, fat jugular,
and drove their cannula

© Shaista Tayabali, 2013

A few days ago, May 10th, was World Lupus Day. This Friday, May 17th, is Put On Purple day for lupus (POP! if you like...) Cancer has pink, Lupus has purple...
I never remember these dates. I remember moments, small unforgettable invasions.
At a recent poetry workshop with a Cambridge poet-in-residence, we were given two words from which to create a draft of something to 'take away'. The words were Blood and Trees. I didn't have to rummage very deep to find the words above. I sat in a stairwell and within a quarter of an hour, I had my poem.
I rarely write poetry at a desk unless as a happy alternative to writing something else! Like my term paper, for example... which, however, I finished and handed in yesterday. In time for another hospital infusion today. Another cannula will greet me with the wry question, "Where, this time?"
But, when I return home, this cheerful blue butterfly doormat will await me, and also, if it hasn't blown away, this heart shaped leaf I found and placed beside it. Butterflies are the symbol of lupus, did you know? Well, didja?


Sherry Blue Sky said...

I did not know butterflies are the symbol for lupus - but now Lupus In Flight makes even more sense than it did before. Happy infusion, kiddo. May it work its magic and keep you well.

Your poem? Sheer brilliant perfection.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I will wear my purple tomorrow...I do understand this poem so skin is filled with small scars from their explorations! Peace Be with you! Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Ruth said...

The poem is beautiful, and very painful.

I will wear purple tomorrow.

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