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by Maureen Glaude

Joints swollen,
jaw to ankles affected at times; anaemia tossed in,
audible creaks in limbs
flare-ups hot to the touch

fluid drained, cortisone shot into
not an aging football player's knees
nor a senior's elbow, but a teen's limbs taking
a down night to recuperate from treatment.

Always someone (parents, doctors) after you
for bloodwork, x-rays, follow-ups, diet, side effects.

Hours of clinics, missing school, missing youth
jilted by the games you loved - your framed photo and plaque
on permanent display in the high school awards case
Junior M.V.P. girls' soccer team Grade 10.
Now just to climb the stairs in mornings a feat.

pain in-
juries, endured.
Jump not for Joy - junior athlete
& black belt wearer; the joy of piano forte’s gone too
dance and theater artiste
jovial early climber from your crib;
jack of various sports and arts,
jolly jumper and gymnastics queen,
proud Mistress of side and front splits
for Tae-Kwon Do & jazz & tap
(you immersed yourself from heart)
all passions you pleaded with your parents
to let you pursue,
but sudden shock of knee, first, began
in just a child of sixteen then
jostling you into jeopardy; gypping you of all those sports you loved
and energy to stay in theater.

You call your body a weather diviner
and claim it's your pain and trial not ours,
as if it's something to be fought for possession of
but what parent could feel that dividing line?
There's a wince in watching too, you know.

Newborns through teens and on
are getting hit - the specialists at CHEO* told us
and with no hints before the disease invades
definitely more rampant these days

Now orange juice and an alarming cancer pill
(in smaller dosage)
have been your Friday night 'treat'
for almost a year and a half
but while we deliberated so on this recourse
God, by his mysterious design, promptly
put me on that same drug
- to test it out in my mind?

It won you (us) both remission
but the aches re-start their return
as you approach your twenties
make new encounters
dream of your future life,
walk and climb your campus streets and steps
and hope for undamp days.

J.A. (it sounds too soft)
Jailor-Attacker of youth
tainting golden years.

Un-gentle acronym
Juvenile Arthritis
Justice? Where are you?
Just now?

*Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, our superb Ottawa Region Rheumatology Clinic).


Posted on 01/31/2006
Copyright © 2021 Maureen Glaude

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 01/31/06 at 10:40 PM

Bless them, and the work they do. Oh, and the children, too. Great write.

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 02/03/06 at 01:05 AM

Maureen, this is an awesome description and tribute. Thank you for your incredible voice, your authentic caring, and recognition of JA. God bless you for this.* óJill

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 02/03/06 at 11:13 PM

I guess I have an advantage here, knowing a little more about the background...inspiration. And so knowing what I know, I'd say this is a pretty good reflection of the reality. Well done.

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