Physiotherapy appointment

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Physiotherapy appointment

For one hour a week
us hip surgery survivors
meet on the fantasy island
of the physiotherapy gym.

A technician in orange T-shirt
butterflies from one cot to the next
sets a wedge under knees
straps a weight to an ankle
harnesses a foot in a stirrup
links the stirrup to a spring
places a heel into a red stretchy strip
along with quick instructions
of what to do next.

I raise and lower
stretch and relax
in and out
back and forth
up and down.
I’m good at this!

She reminds us of the rules:
Wear your shoes
Don’t bend past 90
and asks, What do you look forward
to doing after this is over?
Here that rainbow is practically touchable.

Then the hour is past
and it’s back to a cane-stump
down the hall
awkward clamber into the car
and carry on
with my limping life

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Prompt – Inspiration:

This is another poem I wrote while recovering from hip surgery in 2014. The prompt: on April 16, 2014 the Your Daily Almanac poem has the poet’s impressions / epiphany after time spent at the drivers license office.

The challenge to me is to make a poem from an everyday experience. The prompt poem begins:

Renewal
by Jeffrey Harrison

At the Department of Motor Vehicles
to renew my driver’s license, I had to wait
two hours on one of those wooden benches
like pews in the church of Latter Day
Meaninglessness, where there is no
stained glass (no windows at all, in fact),
no incense other than stale cigarette smoke
emanating from the clothes of those around me,
and no sermon, just an automated female voice
calling numbers over a loudspeaker…
Read the rest…

~*~*~*~*~

VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

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Joni & Ken (review)

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Joni & Ken: An Untold Love StoryJoni & Ken: An Untold Love Story by Ken Tada

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Joni & Ken is the story of the relationship of Joni Eareckson Tada, the famous author, quadriplegic, and champion of the disabled, and her husband of 30 years, Ken Tada. Based on primary documents (articles, messages, blogs, interview, emails, radio transcript, out-of-print books of Joni’s are all listed in the “Acknowledgments” chapter) the story is told in third person, orchestrated by co-author Larry Libby. The telling goes back and forth between Ken’s and Joni’s points of view, making us privy to aspects of the events that the other person would not necessarily have been aware of at the time they happened.

The book skips around a bit chronologically but there’s no danger of confusion because each section is dated. The ten chapters deal with different periods in Joni and Ken’s relationship, and are titled descriptively (e.g. “At the Altar,” “The Testing Years,” “Reflecting on the Journey”). There is a middle section of colored photos.

This is a frank and touching love story. It shows this public couple who, from outward appearances may seem to live above the fray, to be human, vulnerable, brave, and above all committed and obedient Christ-followers.

The challenges Ken faced in caring for his quadriplegic wife while teaching school full-time (though he had help), are not glossed over. In the course of the book we see both him and Joni grow in maturity and love for each other.

The way Joni handled her quadriplegia, combined with her continuing siege of excruciating pain, then topped with a fight against cancer had me speechless. I’m glad God knows what He’s doing with lives that seem so unfairly burdened with tragedy. However through it all Joni is a glowing testimony first to Ken, and then to those whose lives she touches personally, in ministry, and now as readers of this book, of God’s sufficient grace.

Ken was a rock. Even through the hardest times, he was determined to keep his marriage vow. The part of the story that tells of his deepening relationship with God and how his heightened spiritual sensitivity became crucial during Joni’s fight against cancer is a heads-up to all of us. We never know when the next trial will come. If we press into God during the ordinary times (though I don’t know if you could label any of this couple’s experiences ‘ordinary’), He will prepare us for the challenges beyond.

Joni & Ken is not only an interesting and well-told story but a great unofficial guidebook for any couple. Let me leave you with some wise words from Joni herself:

“Thirty years have passed since Ken and I began our journey together, and God has used every trial—every hurt and heartache—to entwine us far more intimately than we ever dreamed on the day we married.

… nowhere else—and with no one else—will you have quite the chance to experience union with Christ than through a heard-fought-for, hard-won union with your spouse.

… If I were sitting next to you … I would say ‘Oh, please pray for your partner.’”

… It’s trials that really press you into the breast of your Savior” – Joni & Ken, pp. 177-179.

I received this book as a gift from the publisher for the purpose of writing a review.

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