Within the Moment…

My husband, the poet Jack Ridl, who suffers from my Lyme and Babesia, and whatever else, wrote this for all of us tick-borne disease folk:

Within the Moment of Indefinite Suffering

All it takes is a tick. You can be walking
your dog. Your dog can be stopping to
sniff a patch of jewel weed or pausing
to pee on a post surrounded by poison ivy.

You could be watching a swallowtail slowly
lifting and settling its wings while resting on
a swatch of crown vetch. The sun could be
lost behind clouds, clustered in a cumulous

mound of white or sinister gray, the moon
could be full, waning, new, the stars moving
across their scrim of deep space, everything
still benign in its revolving threat. You

could be sweeping the walk, passing under
the pergola draped in wisteria, wedding veil,
honeysuckle, or merely sitting on the bench
beside the brook out back. Or taking a path

through the park, joggers steady-stepping, or
walking along the well-worn trail to the pond
at the edge of town where you could be sitting
under the willow, its branches hanging their braids

over your wait for the sunfish to surface. It could all be
beautiful: the day, the light, the breeze bending the tall grass.



8 thoughts on “Within the Moment…

  1. Beautiful, Yesterday my son and I drove past an area that holds hundreds of deer behind a six foot cyclone fence, there sitting on the sidewalk throwing bits of their lunch to a handful of deer was a small pre-school group. My son and I locked eyes, my mind went instantly to a small pale neck with a large tick imbedded. Twenty eight years ago, yesterday to me…………

  2. Your poem is so real to the experience. I am still a hiker and outdoors woman at heart. I have not lost all hope as of yet. Who knows how long I have had lyme and co-infections. At very least 16 years now. Did not get my first diagnosis until 2006… this is now my third diagnosis and the worst time through. I have looked mortality in the face. It is getting better now…
    Trying to stay strong in the mind – not going to let the lyme beat me…
    Adrenals not functioning, thyroid not functioning, thank goodness for meds to help me through this time.
    I can still feel the wind of the Sierras at 14,000 ft – coming round a switch back to a new vista of lakes and waterfalls up around above tree line… onto the view into King’s Canyon.
    For this I am blessed.

  3. Oh, how I love Jack’s poems. You know, I actually have a surprising number of students this semester who have Lyme disease. Would you believe that? I was a bit taken aback by how common this is becoming.

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