An Autoimmune Warrior’s Yoga Mat

I try to get up
But my ankles and knees
Are stiff as hell
An autoimmune warrior
Haha, they say
Might as well
Do nothing at all

But that’s the way
The world wants us to be
And I am not ready to accept
This lack of path

I find the strength
Through my breath
I breathe slowly, rhythmically
For 25 to 30 minutes
Till the nutrients and oxygen
Start circulating in my entire
Body and joints

And then I find the strength
To get up and walk
Towards my thick carpet
Which has a white pristine sheet
That pretends to mock

This is my yoga mat
Because I need
The extra cushioning
For my deformed joints
And the areas between muscles and nerves
That I can’t describe in points

Sometimes I crawl towards it
Sometimes I walk tall
The days differ
Sometimes it’s summer
Other days it’s fall
But every time, when I stretch
And feel my yoga schedule
I always experience
Like I may be, just maybe
Feel alive again

One day leads to the next
And another
And then the fall leaves
Turn to winter
“What are you doing?”
They ask
“There’s no hope for you.”
And yet I sit in hope
On my yoga mat
Every day I do
What I need to do
From September to March
I do
In pain and rain
I do
In fatigue and despair
I do

And then comes spring
My spring, not yours
I have a spring in my step
Which has not been felt
In my last few seasons
That I somehow met

It’s a new day suddenly
The fatigue seems to lift
The fog that surrounded me
Begins to dissipate
The warm sun on my joints
Makes them supple again

You said there’s no cure
But you’re not the Universe
That has my back
Every time I’m stuck
The path that didn’t exist
Is clearer now
I can walk towards it
Limping but proud

I need only me
To show me the path
My yoga and I
Are always a good start

I need only me
To show me the path
My yoga and I
Are always a good start

I am

I am
A warrior

And while you’ll never know
This pain I feel
I know your eyes
Fill with love
When you see me heal

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