the tingle in my blood –  is it?

physical or ethereal

is my body attacking me, or yet

another waking-dream?



There is something in me that wants to return 
To the bleached white walls and the chemical-room
To the soft silent plain of the starched stiff sheets
And the endless night where I wake and sleep.

The waiting breeds new agony
But the sleeping-room brings me release
I warmly breathe in the numbed-up night
Where the painless hours finally find



Daddy carried me to the car
My legs were weak, but not my heart
Sister tried to earn laughter from me
We left the presents cold by the tree.

The hospital said go home, we’ll see
They weren’t sure what was wrong with me
One thing they seemed to know for sure-
“If she throws up come back immediately.”

A week went by in my quick child mind
Or so I can recall
The next thing I knew, “mama, I puked,”
They admitted me to the hospital.

Dark splotches began to cover me,
While I swelled and bled convulsively
“Henoch Schonlein,” they said
“But I’ve never seen it this intense.”

My blood was inside betraying me
Explosions in my capillaries
Internal bleeding as my kidneys failed
Into oblivion Christmas paled
Med students examining my disease
“Her condition seems to steadily decrease.”

Then one normal afternoon
Most of the family was out of the room
Mama waited inside while they were out
She saw the flicker in my eyes
She watched the light go out.

Unresponsive, deaf to the doctors’ calls
In my dreams I heard my mama sing
They told us to prep for “the long haul”
Even as their eyes told my family, “she’s dying.”

All the friends who came to visit
On my part came in vain
I could not see or hear or talk
But their love helped my parents’ pain.

Then pastor Pace from our Church of God
Came in to say a prayer
“May she fall asleep, and wake up healed,”
As they anointed my hair.

In slumber then for half an hour
I was before I awoke
I opened my eyes, restored was the light
I bounced and jumped and spoke.

The lesions vanished from my skin
As quickly as the disease had once crept in
The henoch schonlien was gone
They said it’ll come back, you’ll see
Twelve years have passed, the doctors were wrong.