Two poems from Stumbled & Standing

These two are from my newly published book, “Stumbled & Standing- from Diagnosis to Acceptance: A Woman’s Journey with Multiple Sclerosis” There is a link on the side for a preview.  🙂

Am I Drunk

I look in your face
stumbling from the car
purposely forgetting my cane.

Unmistakable instant judgment
is scribbled across your starring
glare while you grab your phone
frowning towards my daughter.

I laugh and turn back to my car
parked in the Handicap zone.
I grab my cane to pass you again
watching you stop the call
not wanting to look at all.

I cannot resist muttering,
So, you think I’m drunk
Well sorry, I have MS.


Final Diagnosis

They said it was this
then they said it was that
but no, not that they said.

I was a mystery
seven years long,
too long for me.

the unknown rout,
fearing a sudden bout
of unexplained pain
loss of body control.
It was insane.

They said, maybe it is that
I said enough
it was time for action.
I did what I had to do
an “I care about my health”
sit down
in the middle of the room.

It worked too
the balls began spinning
an MRI was the beginning
they finally stopped on MS.



linked with dverse

18 Comments Add yours

  1. booguloo says:

    Amazed by your strength Again.

  2. slpmartin says:

    As is generally the case, two brilliant poems.

  3. i love your narrative. nicely done, both parts. 🙂

  4. tashtoo says:

    River, so happy you made it to share with us these stunning examples of what can be found in your new release. You made a huge step today, (no pun!) and I can’t wait to see where you can go with this. Your words will help, heal, console and bring a smile to the face of those who are sharing your struggle. Power on Poet! The world need more like you!

  5. redplace says:

    Brilliant, I loved reading this. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  6. Brian Carlin says:

    Sometimes it takes sitting down in the middle of the room to get basic care. Reminds me of times when the family has had to stand up for themselves and almost self diagnose in lieu of medical staff throwing their hands in the air and giving up. Good write.

  7. Heaven says:

    An interesting write…Nice to meet you at D’verse ~

  8. I always enjoy your poems, River. The courage it takes to face MS is amazing. It’s so good you have been able to share this in a book of poetry and I pray it may be source of strength for others. Have you thought about sharing with the MS Association?

  9. brian miller says:

    really nice river…each has a bite of reality…the first made me cringe a bit at our ignorance…congrats as well on the book…hope you are well…smiles.

  10. I especially like the last stanza of the second poem, its musicality and evocation of a gambling game betraying the terrible reality of the diagnosis.

  11. marousia says:

    Brilliant! I had an experience late last year with a colleague with MS at our universities graduation ceremony – some people thought her was drunk

  12. Laurie Kolp says:

    Thanks for sharing your deep feelings on this personal issue with us…

  13. Pat Hatt says:

    The ignorance of people is all around, but great job pushing through and casting the shadow on them.

  14. Sheila Moore says:

    powerful stuff, River. It’s a shame that one has to go through so much and be so demanding before healthcare professionals really work to find out what is going on with their patients.

  15. Timoteo says:

    Back in the day, I had a girlfriend who had MS…we got mugged one night walking down a dark street because the muggers saw her and thought we were drunk–well, them’s the breaks–it was only money.

    Yeah, people love to rush to judgement, don’t they?

    If you can find some humor in this craziness and silliness called life, you’re doing alright, my lovely friend.

  16. I am glad that you tell your story so clearly and with such honesty.

  17. My very favorite life story is of those who transcend difficult circumstances with grace, courage and humor. You are one of those , my friend, and are one of my heroes.

  18. AH!!! I liked it…. in the first the imagery was great… I could actually see the whole picture and could see your mind working on the thoughts… loved the words that so simply poured out… in the second, the determination come up front and took a seat… I liked it all
    Thanks for sharing..


    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    At twitter @VerseEveryDay

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