Guest Poem: When Life Gives You Lemons by Luna Fera

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This is me.

Body glued to the dining table
Heavy breathing escaping mouth
Head buzzing with devious wasps, an unfathomable ringing booming in eardrums
Finger flicking and pencil rolling, grating against dark wood

breathe one. two. three. four.

“Sweetie, can you grab the lemons for me? Top shelf!”

Peel back body from table
Stretch neck and roll shoulders and send hair tumbling down
Put hands to wheels and pop off breaks
Creak of old floorboards killing off the wasps and ending the buzz

Of course mama, one sec.

Hear the words come off of lips and taste determination and make way
Across the plain of strewn chairs and fraying carpet
To the towering black cabinet with the pesky golden lemons lounging lazily at the top

breathe one. two. three. four.

Stretch arms and push against chair
Threaten to break bones should it give more length to arms
Feel victory on tongue as strained fingers brush fruit
Almost there! Almost almost almo-

i gasp. breathe one. two. three. four.

The wasps resurrect themselves as the buzzing explodes
Lemons showering me, escaping from flailing arms and outstretched hands
Rolling to unknown corners and abysmal crevices

Nails dig into my palms and a cry splits through the buzz and then
Silence sings and I am alone and not alone
Victim to a crime scene of robbed lemons

“Sweetie are you okay!”

Head hangs low and I hear myself scream the words no
Because no Mama, it is not okay
I dropped the lemons and they are gone to collect dust
I tried to reach but my feet refused to meet the floor and lift my body out of this chair
Any such leverage is all for naught

What is freedom can also be a prison
I constantly prove to the world that I will not be brought down by a disability
But there are moments when the shackles slither out of my spokes
and clamp on my hands, chaining me to the ground

What may seem to you like mountains
I climb without breaking a sweat
But what may seem to you as feeble hills
Are the challenges that feeds off of my blood, sweat, and tears

It’s the Little Things Mama. The little wraiths snickering you can’t.

See I try to reach but the world comes crashing down on top of me
You told me to reach for the stars Mama
But how can I when they are simply out of reach
When I am stuck on the ground
Stretching my arms and holding my breath
Breaking my back and sending the blood rushing to my head
Reaching arms and whispered prayers
I’m trying to reach for them like I promised you I would but they are exploding before my eyes
Leaving a sour, rotten taste on my tongue

Mama the stars are gone and the lemons are lost.
Tears prick my vision and I hear a patter of raindrops hit the floor
I know I will one day harness the stars and catch those pesky lemons
But it takes time to bid farewell to the ghost of the past
Hard to let go of the “what ifs” clenched in your fist

I need a moment to grieve in peace Mama
I need a moment

breathe one. two. three. four

Luna Fera is an intern for SPINALpedia and a paraplegic. Follow Luna at lunawolfe02 on Instagram

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