If I Could Go Back

When in the frozen corners of my mind,

I see myself, a distant glow of youth,

and I lament the person that I find.

I wish she knew the future and its truth.

So confident that I was young and set

to live my life pursuing what I love,

I knew not that I’d always be in debt,

still owing to myself what I’d dreamed of.

So, every moment I’d make sure would count.

I’d take advantage of my age and health.

I’d relish having problems I could mount.

Of different mem’ries, I’d retain a wealth.

I’m not the first, nor will I be the last,

to wish, in life, I could relive the past.

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Math Homework: A Legal Crime

math homework

Lunch and music, art and gym, my afternoons are far from grim

until I go to math class. Yick! If only I were hurt or sick…

I wouldn’t have to spend my time on homework! It’s a legal crime:

sentenced to a desk and chair so I’ll miss all the sun and air!

Parks to play in, trees to climb! But with homework, who has time?

I wish I could go outside and take my bike, just spin and ride!

Or maybe I would wash the car and then I’d be Mom’s shining star!

So, to put this in a way that shouts out what I have to say:

I would rather scrub a floor than take what homework has in store!

Still, I haven’t even guessed why math is worse than all the rest.

But when those problems get assigned (because my teacher isn’t kind),

I always find it’s dark before I finish and get out the door.

Then it’s off to wash and eat…my sneakers not yet on my feet!

When I’m through, the sky’s too dark for me to have my grassy park.

Why, oh why must I endure the needless math that I’m quite sure

will never serve me? Never! No! But always to that class I go,

armed with pencil, paper, frown. Among the problems, I might drown

(especially the story ones, of which my teacher gives us tons)!

So I sit there, try to blend, and hope she’ll call upon my friend

to do the problem on the board, a practice which is much abhorred

by all the students here at school. It’s just another stinkin’ rule!

But even if I get through class without a glitch or nurse’s pass,

I still must face the cold, harsh light: math homework I have tonight,

and everyday from here on out. It never ends; I have no doubt.

I’ve decided that I’m cursed, since math-type homework is the worst,

and that’s the kind I have each day, due next class without delay.

Well, I should get started now…it’s raining outside, anyhow.

Chronic Illness Blues

Nowadays, we’re everywhere: sickies who look fine.

With a glance, it seems that there’s no reason we should whine.

But if the world could have a trial living in our shoes,

they would find, most certainly, they had the chronic blues.

Friends and loved ones try and try, but never understand

the challenges and energy our illnesses demand.

It’s because we look just fine. They cannot see what’s wrong.

Only test results can prove we’ve been sick all along.

It’s hard for us, who lead sick lives, to say we’re not depressed.

We know the hell will never end, “not terminal,” at best.

You can’t forget it, any day; you never get a break.

It goes on while you’re sleeping, it’s here when you’re awake.

Decades pass, the illness lasts, and yet we trudge on through.

People sometimes say, “You’re brave.” But what else can we do?

Illnesses and hospitals, insurance and blood,

urine samples, EKGs, and feeling, still, like crud…

plastic tubing, IV kits, patient charts and scrubs,

pumps and poles and stools on wheels, and purple, nitrile gloves,

pharmacies and sharps containers, clipboards, tape, gauze pads,

waiting rooms, referrals, too, and still you’re feeling bad…

ugly gowns they make us wear to access us with ease,

meaning when we do stand up, we’re flapping in the breeze….

The space they leave on intake forms is laughable at best.

I always have to find more space so I can list the rest.

Those mere four lines aren’t adequate to splay my sordid past.

I require plenty o’ room for the horrors I’ve amassed.

I never know from week to week how good my health will be,

so many times the best I do is plan to wait and see.

I don’t want to be the one who ruins family plans.

And if they want to still go out, I would understand.

But they won’t, which means I feel a guilt (that I don’t need).

So I suggest it every time and someday will succeed.

But though I get frustrated, and I wish they understood,

I hope they never will (the way that only sickies could).

Tomorrow I may find that I can’t get up out of bed.

My symptoms overlap and get all jumbled in my head.

I try hard to keep them straight, the things to ask my doc.

I’ll see him soon: tomorrow, well, that is, if I can walk.

Life for us is day to day, filled with good and bad.

It makes me much more grateful for the healthful times I’ve had.

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