For ten years I would not say the name.
I said: episode. Said: setback, incident,
exacerbation—anything but be specific
in the way this is specific, not a theory
or description, but a diagnosis.
I said: muscle, weakness, numbness, fatigue.
I said vertigo, neuritis, lesion, spasm.
Remission. Progression. Recurrence. Deficit.
But the name, the ugly sound of it, I refused.
There are two words. The last one means: scarring.
It means what grows hard, and cannot be repaired.
The first one means: repeating, or myriad,
consisting of many parts, increasing in number,
happening over and over, without end.
Cynthia Huntington, "Multiple Sclerosis" from The Radiant. Copyright © 2003 by Cynthia Huntington. Reprinted by permission of Four Way Books.
Source: The Radiant
(Four Way Books, 2003)
Poems by Cynthia Huntington