This is a poem about chronic illness. The illness is the imagined enemy, my battle foe. Naturally, it’s a male!

The poem is inspired by the NaPoWriMo prompt for April 20th. We are challenged to write a poem about something or someone, using kennings to describe the subject. A kenning is a colorful term or metaphor, a phrase typically made up of two nouns, often hyphenated, to describe another noun.  The use of kennings dates back to old Norse poems and writings that describe mythological characters, battles and other dramatic events. For example, instead of the word “snow,” the term “winter-raiment” might be used. Modern kennings include such phrases as “show-stopper” and “brown-noser”–also a few combination curse words, which I contemplated using, and occasionally do in real life. But I decided to make this a G-rated poem 🙂


one more accommodation

to the false healer

why am I kow-towing

to this soul-stealer


master of separation

seeks to loosen

tethers to friends

bonds to family




he changes me

he wears me down

lurking in the corners of my brain

impaler of the intellect

inner peace-taker

confidence shaker


I am not strong enough

to defeat him now

though we are engaged in battle

in marrow-piercing pain

he brings me to my knees

with self-congratulation

but I have faith!

it is a powerful shield

and one he cannot steal

unless I let him




1 thought on “Affliction

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