9-12 Stroke

Happened to me in 2013, thank God, mild and no right arm damage or weakness. Spent 1 night at the hospital. Hence the title and poem:


A Stroke of Grace

Right arm. Sinews are slack.

My coffee cup quivers

in my hand. My pen’s letters

are squiggles, veering outside journal lines.


Soon I drove my metal platelet

On streets layered with frozen plaque.

Narrow is the way that leads to life

Into the heart of the ER.


The PA listened, wrote until CODE BLUE boomed

and dropped the chart. My right arm groped,

dragged it closer, and in his medical verse:


Pt. reported weakening on his R arm.

Range of motion intact.

Mild pure motor hemiparesis confined to R arm.

Suspect Lacunar, small subcortical infarct,

by occlusion of some penetrating branch

deep in his L frontal lobe.

Frontal precentral gyrus?


My mind stroked.


I floated through corridors and into my room.

Needles prickled my arms like burning thorns.

At midnight eerie silence settled on my blanket.

At 1 AM my nurse pierced my Median cubital vein

and I thought


“This is He who came by water and blood.”*


Night passed in deep, dreamless sleep.


*1 Jn. 5:6