Polka Dot Pelvis

By Valerie Correa

 I wrote this poem about my bone biopsies for leukemia in one writing after being awoke from a dream in the middle of the night.  I had gone to a masseuse for a massage and was telling him what my “polka dot” scars where from.  It was healing to write about  repeated traumatic experiences and get it on the page and out of my body.  Then, presenting it at the conference was amazing.  It was my first experience sharing my poem in such a public forum.  My legs were shaking, not just from remembering my experience but also the charge from seeing people connect to my experience through my writing.  The validation of a human experience in such a visceral way was verbalized and felt by the audience.  It was life affirming in my healing.  Thank you for that opportunity and the conference was so enriching on so many levels.  I can’t wait for next year’s conference.  It was spectacular.

Polka dots burrowed into my skin
Remnants of intrusion, fear and pain
Memories stained in the skin
Scars
Stabbed in the back
A physical betrayal
Broken
Open with force to dig deep
To find answers
Will I live or die
I breathe
I hold still
The knife hits a nerve
Each time
Traveling down my leg
As if the pain
Is trying to escape down my leg
Out my foot
Charlie horse
My leg spasms
Knowing it can’t escape
I focus
I release,
I pray
Please protect me
Please let this be over soon
Get the information
Coded in my cells
Deep in my marrow
Killing me
And saving me
One more sample now she says
Take a breath
This is going to hurt
As if it hasn’t been excruciating already
I need to break off the bone
Shatter it
Disconnect it from me
That which lets me stand
Steady myself
Now I will crack it open
Break it
Take it
It is gone
To wait
For answers
Will I die
Will I live
This chard of bone
Will tell me
The body knows
But does the spirit?

Polka dot pelvis
Each circle
A mark
Of pain and fear
Splattered on my back
Ten times
Frozen in time
Holding my breath
For fate unknown

Two years past
No more added dots
But each hole
Created instability
I fall, I trip, I lose my balance
Each time I try to exert my past strength
The next day,
I ache, I am sore, I am stiff
Those polka dots remain
Remind me
I’m broken
And the pain has not left me
Polka dot pelvis
Shattered
And
Haunting memories
That wake me up
Out of a restful sleep
Alert me
I’m waiting for answers still
everyday