I’ve written a few pieces on my site now which deal with aspects of my fiancée’s (she said yes) condition, M.E. However, although I’ve mentioned it in passing, I’ve not yet written a poem which deals with my condition: dyspraxia. If you don’t like intros or prefer to just judge poems on their own merit without any contextualisation then please do feel free to skip this preamble & start from “Misty Monday Morning Memories”.
If you’ve never heard of dyspraxia or have only a vague understanding of the condition, I wouldn’t be surprised. I sometimes think of it as dyslexia’s less sexy, plain sister desperately waving to try & get some attention but most people just dismiss dotty dyspraxia as a bit odd & focus on darling dyslexia instead.
To those of you who are aware, it is still possible that you purely think of it as a coordination condition, even though that is but one aspect of the condition. Some of you may once have dropped a ball someone threw to you or tripped over & thought to yourself “I may have dyspraxia!”, just as one may read through a medical dictionary when unwell & become convinced you have the bubonic plague.
You may be wondering why if it’s such a misunderstood condition, I haven’t addressed it previously on my site. Well, there are many reasons for this. For example, it’s such a varied condition with different dyspraxics being affected by different aspects to greater or lesser degrees. For some, their coordination may be slightly below par but not overly so but their long term memory may be terrible. For others, excellent memory but they are so uncoordinated & clumsy as to make Jar Jar Binks look like a ninja. So it’s not possible for me to speak on behalf of all dyspraxics.
Another factor is that I didn’t want to appear selfish, self-indulgent or for poems related to it to appear to be “woe is me” pieces. I am well aware that I am lucky to have what I’ve got in life & that someone in (INSERT COUNTRY HERE) is starving/dying/fighting/having to listen to Barney the Dinosaur’s “I love you” song. And although I have had a really tough year, it is due to matters unrelated to dyspraxia & right now I am actually happy.
Although not always the case, those with dyspraxia may often go through life being misunderstood & underestimated. People may assume we’re “dopey” or even worse “stupid”. It is also fairly common for them to have been bullied in their school years, as those with dyspraxia can come across as “socially awkward” or not quite normal & some children can be cruel. We may even into adulthood have low self-esteem as a result of our dyspraxia & still have a desperate desire to find that one special person who gets us….who operates on the same wave length as we do & who doesn’t just tolerate our eccentricities but loves us all the more for them. If we’re lucky, we may even find them.
The following poem deals primarily with the long term memory issues that some dyspraxics may suffer with (even more so when stressed but certainly not only then). To put into context why Monday is viewed as a positive in this poem, it is my one full day off from work each week.
Misty Monday Morning Memories
You once called it “brain fog” and I suppose that it may be true.
Though cloaked in mist I still resist losing first memory of you.
Never before or since had I seen any beauty which could compare.
That’s how I like to remember – you may know, as you were there.
I stood there subtly shaking, shyly straining: ‘Slowly. Breathe.’
Feeling far from confident but desperately wanting to believe.
Standing before a gorgeous geeky goddess, as nervous as could be.
Did you truly want to spend some time with someone strange like me?
A year has passed since first date, since first flutter of fear.
Miraculously you’re still with me; smile sweetly, hold me near.
Afraid I cannot recall each every day that passed in-between.
Cannot reminisce on everything we’ve heard, smelled or seen.
Nor can I now tell you even what we discussed a few weeks ago.
At the time it seemed important – of this you’re sure you know.
I can tell you I truly love you, still say sincerely how I feel,
still store some soft focus memories on my dusty highlights reel.
I remember the night we first made love, lying upon a fresh made bed.
Remember rosy red lips and dress, though not a word of what we said.
We moved so slow & tender – I’d taken you to the theatre that night.
Wined & dined & then reclined, had hoped to make first time feel right.
It was as good for you as it was for me – well, that’s how I now recall.
You say it was so when I ask you now and you were there too after all.
Perhaps we should stage a reenactment, to jog memory and be sure?
You smile and say you are ready; we head upstairs for our encore.
I remember too the first time that I unintentionally made you cry.
The tears tumbled down as raindrops – though I can’t recall now why.
I just remember my heart aching as you sat sobbing in such sad pain,
wishing desperately that I’d never ever make you feel such pain again.
I wrapped my arms around you, whispered words sugar sweet, each true.
My eyes embraced yours, enchanted; and so soon I sat crying too.
I’m sorry for whatever it was which I said or did to you that day.
Yet can’t conjure up what that was – my memory’s been washed away.
I still hope to be with you forever and to forever love you true.
Collecting many misty Monday morning memories – a lifetime lived with you.
Copyright © 2016 Philip Craddock. All rights reserved.