Covid and Ladders

You think you’re better

And you wonder if you’ve ever been ill

You gaslight yourself and if you don’t others will

They pinball your fatigue

Telling you they too are tired.

You feel guilty because you know that’s true.

And you know others have felt like this for years

And you pinballed them then.

Still do. Probably

You think you’re better

And you go for a walk, round the next corner

Up the next hill

You grow giddy at the liberation

And then just get giddy.

Nausea sweeps in like a tide

You’re breathing but the oxygen is not making it all round

Your head feels like it’s not outside in the air

It’s stuck back in the cupboard at home.

A twig snaps under your foot

In Sydenham Woods

And suddenly your brain is in a wilderness

It can’t remember what to do to keep you upright

A surging panic about losing your place

In the book of walking …

You stop, breathe, correct

Sway back the other way

Move on

No damage done

Just another invisible tear in your confidence

Invisible mending that takes nearly a week this time

More or less than last time? – you can’t remember

But who knew the first woodland walk since this all started

Would carry such risk?

Balance is a thing you’re good at

Balance and off-kilter a feeling you usually enjoy

Knowing you can weeble back

A lifelong free toy that isn’t now automatic

You’re glad that you’re not out with a group

You ponder a tree trunk and wonder how long until you could dance on a log?

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