Raising My Arm
Okay, Stroke, so you snuck up on me and in a half-second,
you assaulted my body and deranged my life.
Yes, you murdered a piece of my brain...
but not of my soul!
Yes, you stole my freedom
from my left arm, my left hand, my left leg, my left foot—
but I will regain my liberty!
No, my limp arm, my limping leg
will not rely on canes, on walkers, on wheel chairs.
I may hobble. I may stumble. I may even fall...
but I shall walk alone!
And you won't control my mind either!
I won't be stressed. I won't be depressed.
Rather, I will take heart; I will take courage.
Yes, Stroke, I will brace up, buck up, bear up;
I will confront you with my head up!
Through attitude and exercise,
the weakness you forced upon me will be overcome.
Slowly, but absolutely surely,
I will gain back the lost balance in my body and in my life.
This heaviness like iron weights in my hand and in my foot
will be lifted until they once again function.
My toes and my fingers will stop curling up.
They will not retreat into a fetal position.
My fingers will learn to grasp again—
yes, to do up buttons and even bras.
My arm will learn to lift again—
to put away dishes on the highest shelves.
That one small part of my brain that you destroyed
will be replaced by other parts of my miraculous mind.
You tried to force me into utter numbness,
but I will regain all of the sensations of life.
So there, Stroke, my spirit will restore my body.
I will stand alone and raise my arm in victory!