on mothering diabetes.

in my fridge,

in

the

shelf

that

is

designed

to

hold

cheese,

there

are

vials

of

hope,

and

a kit

with

pre-filled

hormone,

that

will

bring you back

if

you

should

ever

slip

too

far

away from me.

i,

keep

nocturnal vigils

with

foxes

and other

mothers

who have to

keep

on

keeping

on,

before the day breaks.

i,

punch

a calculator in my head

with

every

meal, and

i sing songs of

no, you cannot eat that now

and

please, you must drink this

now,

or, else…

and,

in this home

we

know

needles

and

we belong to the ones with

sharps containers

on

their

kitchen counters

where others

have

no

such

things.

and,

we

are

intimately

familiar

with

the fear that words can carry,

hypo

hyper

ketones

coma

death.

but,

i

also

know

the

hope

in glass vials,

where

every

drop

holds

life.

i,

know

that

cells might

forget

how

to

keep

you alive,

but

i

will

not

forget,

or

give

up,

and,

for

you and for life,

i am grateful.

— on mothering diabetes.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Today, 14th November 2018, is World Diabetes Day.

In our home, we sing a different song and we fight a daily war that involves needles and insulin and fear — if I am honest.

But, we know hope and we are grateful for the simple miracle of insulin.

And, life.

samaritan.

loss,

the kind that

settles

in your

bones, because

it has become

a regular visitor.

unwanted,

of course.

feared,

as well.

this

kind

of

loss

that

explodes

through

the front door

of

your life

and rips

the curtains

from the windows,

allowing

everyone

to see

the inside

of

what was once

hidden

private

sacred,

until.

this loss,

can fester

and

cause

your

heart to breed

bitter

and

your

tongue to sing

self-destruction.

so,

you must not let it.

do

you

hear

me?

whilst the windows

are

bare,

throw

them open.

and,

when you

see

their eyes

from the other side

of the road,

let them look.

let them gawk.

your pain,

is

your

pain.

let them stare, but

you,

you,

let the light in.

lay it all out

on

the

floor

and

let the light

soak up

the poison.

and

with time

loss,

will

gain

weight,

more

and

more,

until

one morning

you will look

up

and

see another

with

a

splintered front door,

and you will

find

compassion

empathy

love,

pouring from your

hands

and

you

will

mend

another’s

curtains,

ripped

from

windows,

and

you,

will be love.

—samaritan.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

With this poem, I wish I could flesh out the back-story, but I cannot.

Not yet.

But, I know that loss, can breed bitterness if you let it, or, it can grow bigger and metamorphosise with time — this, is not a quick thing — into something beautiful.

If you will let it, it will soften your heart and your hands and you will become Samaritan to others who need someone to cover their nakedness from the world’s prying eyes.

So, you let the light in.

Yield to it — the loss and the light.

It will be ok.

when the waters of long loch, sang to my bones.

today,

the

grey

waters of long loch,

caressed

her pebbly edges

in

an

embrace,

so fierce,

that

it

took

my

breath

away, and

the

autumn

clouds,

cloaked,

in november’s

softest

light,

smiled

gently

on

this

love,

and me.

and,

i held all my

loss

and all my

hope,

in

my

gloved

hands.

a prayer,

thrown

to

the

wind, and

the

waters

sang

an

ancient

lullaby, to

the water

in

my

bones, and

i understood.

and

this,

was

(finally)

enough.

—when the waters of long loch,

sang to my bones.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Photograph — Long Loch, Cove, Scotland.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

hidden.

autumn,

is turning her shoulder,

lowering

her

gaze,

gathering

her

dying colours

as she prepares

to say

farewell.

until

next

time.

but,

first,

winter

must

pass

through

my

bones.

and i

am left,

exploring

the

empty

spaces

where

what

was

once

impossibly green,

is

now

dust.

and,

i pray.

pray,

brave

kitchen

prayers

of

i know there’s

more,

whilst

wiping crumbs

from

this table

like

another

desperate

woman

long,

long ago,

and

faces change,

and

stories

are diluted

with

time,

but,

loneliness

wears

the

same

cloak,

and,

women

have whispered

the same

desperate

hope

for

roots and belonging,

and

healing

and

another heart to call

friend.

and,

you

were

bread

then,

giver of hope.

and,

so

i

wait

to

be seen,

to

be

enough.

hungry,

for

my

spring.

— hidden.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Sometimes, the bravest prayer you can pray,

is for

more.

on being wild.

i am not

soft

and

beautiful, fluent

in the language

of

women

who

know

how to act,

how to speak,

how to

be,

round

and

pliable

and

tame.

this

truth,

i have

always

known, and

i carry

it

fiercely.

i am

thorn

and

metal,

shaped

by

war.

and,

somewhere

between

nine

and

all

the

other

years

that

formed

my

skin,

i

learned

to

keep my edges

sharp

and

wild.

unrestrainable.

and,

this

is

where

i

hide.

— on being wild.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

be gentle (with yourself).

you,

are a life made of seasons.

do not apologise for

the starkness

of your winter.

— be gentle (with yourself).

© Liezel Graham 2018.

It takes a great deal of courage to live transparently.

We are encouraged to put on a brave face, a happy face — think positive, pray more, hand it to God.

But sometimes, these things do not lift the burden.

And, this is ok.

Learn to be gentle with yourself and the season you are in.

Learn to be gentle with others and the season they are in.

Sometimes, a kind word and quiet companship are more powerful and more healing than (well-meant) advice.