Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Words Laden With Familiar...

Bestest bud, coworker, and poet extraordinaire, Rojoo sent me this poem in the wee hours of the morning. It is titled, "THE RAPTURE", by Cynthia Huntington...tears of understanding still pooling in my eyes...

I remember standing in the kitchen, stirring bones for soup,

and in that moment, I became another person.

It was an early spring evening, the air California mild.

Outside, the eucalyptus was bowing compulsively

over the neighbor's motor home parked in the driveway.

The street was quiet for once, and all the windows were open.

Then my right arm tingled, a flutter started under the skin.

Fire charged down the nerve of my leg; my scalp exploded

in pricks of light. I shuddered and felt like laughing;

it was exhilarating as an earthquake. A city on fire

after an earthquake. Then I trembled and my legs shook,

and every muscle gripped so I fell and lay on my side,

a bolt driven down my skull into my spine. My legs were

swimming against the linoleum, and I looked up at the underside

of the stove, the dirty places where the sponge didn't reach.

Everything collapsed there in one place, one flash of time.

There in my body. In the kitchen at six in the evening, April.

A wooden spoon clutched in my hand, the smell of chicken broth.

And in that moment I knew everything that would come after:

the vision was complete as it seized me. Without diagnosis,

without history, I knew that my life was changed.

I seemed to have become entirely myself in that instant.

Not the tests, examinations in specialists' offices, not

the laboratory procedures: MRI, lumbar puncture, electrodes

pasted to my scalp, the needle scraped along the sole of my foot,

following one finger with the eyes, EEG, CAT scan, myelogram.

Not the falling down or the blindness and tremors, the stumble

and hiss in the blood, not the lying in bed in the afternoons.

Not the phenobarbitol, amitriptylene, prednisone, amantadine, ACTH, cortisone,

cytoxan, copolymer, baclofen, tegretol, but this:

Six o'clock in the evening in April, stirring bones for soup.

An event whose knowledge arriving whole, its meaning taking years

to open, to seem a destiny. It lasted thirty seconds, no more.

Then my muscles unlocked, the surge and shaking left my body

and I lay still beneath the white high ceiling. Then I got up

and stood there, quiet, alone, just beginning to be afraid.


Diane J Standiford said...

Beautiful and very powerful.



I am in awe of those who can put into words so eloquently something so difficult to describe...I wasn't familiar with this poet, but now I want to read more.


Have myelin? said...

I too want to read more. May I share it with others?



I would imagine Cynthia Huntington (the poet) would like nothing better than for people to SHARE her poetry...I think Rojoo wrote me and said this poem came from a collection of Ms. Huntington's called "The Radiant"...I'm hoping to find it at some point via B&N (Barnes & Noble)...


Becky said...

wow!!! great poetry

Blinders Off said...

It is hard to explain the feeling reading something that describes an experience you had in your own life. I will never forget my feeling of being afraid.

Beautiful writing



Yes it IS a great poem...and I am lucky to have such a wonderful friend who finds these gems for me!




Me was as if everything I had ever known or counted upon changed "that day". I suddenly felt mortal and vulnerable in ways I cannot describe.