today’s word: foot drop

foot drop: a weakness or paralysis of muscles in the lower leg that affects a person’s ability to lift (or dorsiflex) the front of the foot, causing the foot to drag. In an attempt to correct the condition, some adopt a characteristic gait, where the affected leg is lifted and the foot slaps against the ground with each step. Also called drop foot. Often the result of a stroke. 

Before the stroke

I am as fragile and naked as a newborn babe, May Sarton, in After the Stroke

The other shoe might fall at any moment,
it would only be an aftershock. Rain
has ambushed the body homeland,
gates burst, mountains of snowdrift
landed at corpus callosum.
All vacations have been cancelled.
It’s a piss-poor time to revise language:
hemiparesis, aphasia, lability, foot drop. 

I ruminate on an image of being alone
in a chill-spare room, arms raised open
to God, waiting. And this same room
repeats as if time were a succession of poses
where I stand alone, arms leaning out
for what is forever lost. The only problem
with musing is that I cannot lift my arms
or write these words.

Imagine how small the body,
sliced so thin, so dissembled. A stroke
conceals facts and feelings, becomes
the grit to survive.


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