I’m standing in a line,
the people in front
winding away from me
into the shadows like
a serpent, their features
unseen though the mist
that fills the air.
A man approaches me,
his features distinct
with large blue eyes,
curling brown hair
falling to his shoulders.
“What is the worst thing about you?”
He asks me, his voice soft
as if each word were formed
from honey or some elixir.
“I live with multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy,”
I tell him.
He nods and the asks,
“What is the best thing about you?”
I think about it for a moment,
the answer forming itself in my mind.
“That I live with multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.”
His blue eyes widen, and I wonder
if I will fall into them.
“Why are they the worst and the best?”
He asks, genuinely wanting
to know the answer.
“Because whatever my disease and disability took from me, they also taught me what to truly be thankful for.”
He blinks and nods once,
as if a decision has been made.
Holding out an arm, he says
“Come with me, please. I will take you to the oracle.”
We walk away from the mist covered serpent
and he takes me to a door.
He knocks once upon it,
producing the sounds of bells ringing
somewhere in the distance.
Pushing open the door,
He gives me a smile.
“The oracle will see you now.”
I nod, giving him a smile of thanks,
and step into the room.
The door disappears behind me
and I find myself in a small meadow.
I can hear the sounds of water.
Making my way towards that sound,
I walk until the shoreline shows itself,
the shadow of a person becoming
clearer with each step I take.
Soon, I realize that it is a woman
dressed in white robes, her red hair
shining red and gold in the sun.
I go to stand next to her.
Though she says nothing,
the smile that she gives me
fills me with warmth.
I find myself embracing her
in a hug and can feel the warmth from her,
as if she is sun itself.
She holds me and when she steps away,
I can feel the warmth still from her touch.
She smiles and nods,
points to my stomach
and raises her eyebrows
as if in a question.
I nod and say
“Yes, go ahead. I trust you.”
As I say the words, I realize
that that they are true and
I can still feel the warmth from her.
She puts a hand to my stomach,
waits a moment, then moves her hand away
When she does, I can see a black mass,
thick like an oily sludge,
as it is being pulled from me.
As she continues to pull,
the mass envelops her
until all I can see is her face.
It’s wearing a mask of concentration.
She smiles at me and the blackness ends,
no longer coming from within.
Nodding her head as if satisfied,
she breathes on the black mass,
much as a mother would blow upon a wound
to help it to heal
and I watch as it changes,
as the blackness lessens to a grayness,
then a whiteness. It looks as if she
holds the clouds in her hands.
Gifting me another smile,
she takes a little bit of the cloud like substance
and places it inside me.
Then she places the rest of it,
that mass that was black like a cancer
but is now pure white,
into the water. I stand there,
touching the part of my chest
near my heart where she placed the sky
within me. Every time my heart beats,
I can feel the brightness of the sky
responding in kind.
We watch as the clouds sink into the water.
When they emerge, the world around us is filled with light
reflecting of the surface of the water.
She motions to my heart and then to the water,
wanting me to understand that
they are one and the same.
We stand there, watching a miracle unfold,
and I can hear the sounds of birdcall
in the distance.