Celebrate the Body

Celebrate the body that stands when you bid.
Holds there, moves left, right, back. Without reeling
off into vertigo. Without tremors, shakes, pauses, falls.

Celebrate the body that breathes without wheezes.
Without pneumonia, rales, rhonchi. The heart that pumps.
Blood pressure that adjusts, fluctuates to provide assistance
without faltering, racing, palpitating.

Celebrate the mouth that receives food. Lips and tongue
that coordinate swallowing. Esophagus that receives, delivers
to the stomach which digests freely. Peristalsis moving
contents without steatorrhea, diarrhea, distension, malabsorption.

Celebrate the brain which processes, remembers, understands.
Thinks, reasons, considers, knows, ponders, grasps. Postulates
without scramble, confusion, lapses or gaps.

Celebrate the senses, which pleasure at the soothe of touch,
the rouse of music, connection of language, clarity of vision,
grounding of taste, cathedral of aroma. Senses that do not bring
the slap of pain which overwhelms, frightens, disengages, disconnects,
humiliates, blurs. Which cuts off, isolates, confuses, erases meaning.

Consider love. Consider relationship, beauty, meaning, purpose.
Celebrate the music heard from the other room. The owl hooting
at night. Coyotes calling from the hill. The pleasant nurse who makes
eye contact, offers a laugh, a smile. Imagine the tenderness of hair
stroked off the back of a neck. Something personal said because you
were a person before being a patient. You were a person with dreams
and wants, desires and fantasies. Not just the depositor of medical
waste in sharps containers. Before you watched friends withdraw.

Then consider the body in illness. Lengthy illness that does not retract.
Does not go into remission. The body locked in a vice-grip. Unable
to be healed, understood, or even accepted. Consider how everything
is reduced to needle sticks, lab cultures, pills, ointments, liniments.
Layers of blankets, modifications, isolation. A person on bed rest,
house arrest. Scrutinized, controlled by insurance and medical tyranny.

Consider the raw, raked emotion of this sick person. Ratcheted
with exhaustion. On the edge of an abyss. Future uncertain.
Agitation, irritation, humiliation. Grievous anger, jealousy, disgust.
Feeling lost, afraid, anxious, needy. Trying to contain, control, subdue.
Trying to be normal, act normal, perceived as normal, treated as
normal, remembered as normal. Once again to just to be normal.

Consider how little things become important. The cup that has a straw
or doesn’t. The blanket that is straight or haphazard. The windows that
are too open or too shut. Blinds that allow too much glare or not enough
light. The upside-down tray. The forgotten gesture, harsh word, sudden
loud noise. The lengthy conversation, too many demands, or not enough.

Consider this body. So much, for so long. Not enough, for too long.
So much beauty, so much pain and loss. Joys and hopes filled and dashed.
Life and death, handled simultaneously.

Published In

As For Life

As for Life

Delve deeper into Marilyn’s featured published work.


Discover Marilyn’s published collections.


Get to know more about Marilyn.