a poem a day for a year #49

I have never known my triggers

but I assume them to be cockiness

not wine or cheese or chocolate

as I was just telling a friend that I have not suffered in years

from migraine


and I laughed and pretended to knock on wood


and just two days later I am alone with aural migraine

and it is like a stroke or something

and I am frozen with fear

like in the early 90's when I sobbed uncontrollably

to my friends mother

a nurse

on the telephone

my neck and ear cradling the large cordless phone

flashing lights dancing in my eyes

sitting on the floor of my apartment

could this be drugs

what is happening

I am going crazy


I am from a migrainous family

I am no stranger to the neurological events

of the headache

we read Joan Didion's headache essay like a trade mag

and eat pills like candy

I am lucky they say

I mostly get the aura

vision distortion

freaky stuff

but no pain

my father will wrap ace bandages around his head

my grandmother retreats to dark cold places

they lose days and days


still I don't feel lucky

I am unable to do much with these episodes

if I were a painter I may paint these patterns I see

or weave them into textiles

find beautiful moments in the exquisite weirdness

but I am just left alone

cold and tired

with the fear of it happening again

with the fear of it happening to me