Thought for the Day

Friday, April 3, 2009

Diabetic Poetry

Over on Tu Diabetes they had a poetry contest/collaboration, the No Sugar Added Poetry Contest. Members of the Tu Diabetes community contributed poems. For four weeks, each week, two winners were chosen from the poems contributed that week. The winning poems are to be published in a book to support the Diabetes Hands Foundation.
I contributed a poem on the last week that was chosen as a runner-up.

I Couldn't Do That

I couldn't do that.

It's the silliest thing people say
to a diabetic.

We're not doing this for fun.

When you see the diabetic girl in the park,
poking and squeezing her finger for a drop of blood,
see also the threatening figure leaning on her,
holding a needle to her eye.
"Do it or I'll blind you!"

When you see the diabetic man in the restaurant,
jabbing the syringe through his pants into his leg,
see also the demon behind him
with an ice-pick against his kidney.
"Do it or I'll gut you!"

You could do it
with a gun to your head.

Then a few of us couldn't stop once they got us started, and we continued to add poetry to the page after the contest was over. Maybe my definition of poetry is loose. Anyway, I wrote two more of what I call poems:


I'm a fish out of water
inside my own skin,
wrestling with my rebellious metabolism.

I know some of you who are always
effortlessly perfect
in the blood sugar realm
want to think you understand,
but you can't
any more than I can understand you.

After the cure sometimes
will I wonder about my blood sugar,
and wish I had a meter?

Or will I feel perfect always?

Insulin Is Not a Cure

It's like Evel Knievel's helmet.
It might have saved his life, but it never kept him safe.

Insulin is not a cure.
It only creates an illusion of health.

I'd like to go without for a while.
No pricking my fingers, no infusion sets.
No "managing the disease."

Then everyone could see that I'm still sick.
But there'd be a penalty to pay.

False health is better than real death.

So I'll rise and fall, soar and crash.
And keep getting up.

But insulin is not a cure.


denise said...

Awesome poetry Jerry. "I couldn't do that," is one of my favorite sayings too.

Jen said...

"After the cure sometimes
will I wonder about my blood sugar,
and wish I had a meter?"
I do wonder when they find the will I feel? I'm so used to it now I think I'd feel kinda naked and a little lost. Despite that I'd gladly go with feeling that way than having my buddy Animas always hovering near by. Great words Jerry.

Alexis said...

Amazing poetry Jerry. Love the personification of diabetic complications - that gave me goose bumps.