Three of Me – A Poem

I was tryingimages

to explain my

body to someone

else. She listened

closely, her face

showing openness, concern.

I often feel as if there are three of me in one body.

She cocked her

head to one

side, giving me

a confused look.

What do you mean?

I thought of

how to answer

her, how best

to phrase it.

Well, the Cerebral Palsy is strongest on the right and the Multiple Sclerosis is strongest on the left.

Don’t they affect your whole body?

Yes, but they’ve each taken sides, leaving me in the centre.

Sounds like quite the game of tug and war.

It is.

I paused for

a beat before

I told her.

I’ve named them.

Them? Them who?

Well, I’m a writer. I conquer fears by giving the fear a name. So I’ve given the CP and MS names.

Like characters in your books?

Exactly like that.

Her face softened

and she smiled

What are their names?

Well, I’ve named the Cerebral Palsy Cybil Paulesn and I’ve named the Multiple Sclerosis Max Shadow.

There was a

moment where I

wasn’t sure what

she was going

to say. Then

her smile split

to let out

a delighted laugh.

I’m sorry! I’ve just never heard of someone naming their disabilities before.

She wiped away

tears from her

eyes which were

sparkling and full

of simple amusement.

I let out

a chuckle of

my own and

was immediately lighter.

If they’re going to be with me for the rest of my life, I have to get to know them well.

I said. She

gave me another

one of her

warm smiles and

laid a hand

on my shoulder.

You already do. They’re part of you and you know yourself now.

I pondered what

she said and

felt Cybil and

Max loosening their

hold a little,

just for a

moment, as if

breathing a sigh

of intimate understanding.

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