#MEAwareness: Guest Poetry Post by Bill Clayton

dSavannah note: I’m in quite a few Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (MEcfs) support groups online, and I ran across this poem by a fellow #pwME (patient with ME), Bill Clayton. I asked if I could post it on my blog, and he said yes. It’s long, but it’s a worthy read about how having a “Blue Badge” helps make our lives easier. (U.K.; in the U.S., it’s officially called a “Disabled Person’s Parking Permit [placard]“)

We often hear stories of people being yelled at and humiliated for having and using a Blue Badge. I myself was terrified of that very thing happening, but so far, no one has said anything. Thankfully. Hubs said that if I did get confronted, to offer to give the person any one of my 50+ diagnoses.

I don’t always need to use my placard, but sometimes, it really helps not to have to walk so far, since any activity is so exhausting. As I’ve written in the past, if you see someone with a badge, be kind. They probably wish they didn’t need to use it.

A Blue Badge & Invisible ME

my disabled parking placard

My disabled parking placard. Hard to believe I’ve had it so long it expires in a little over a year.

By Bill Clayton

Gone from being life and soul
Health gone down a huge black hole
Rarely getting out too far
Too much pain is the bar

A blue badge now has rescued me
When strength allows, it sets me free
It gets me to a needed door
Which was out of my aching reach before

Many are in this sorry state
For their freedom
They have to wait
But when that day is finally here
It becomes something they hold dear

Many of us hurt like hell
But see us out, you’d think us well
Hidden from the naked eye
You cannot see our invisible cry

You may not see a wheelchair
A walking frame or stick
You may not see an outward sign
Of what makes us all so sick

It may be just one day a month
That we can venture out
You haven’t seen behind the screen
When good days are in drought

The darkened room’s our normal life
So to hear abuse cuts like a knife
Our body’s weak, way off track
We have no strength to answer back

If your aim is to protect parking bays
For those you feel deserve
Please understand, across the land
That’s not just your preserve

It’s right that those who flaunt the law
Should be held up to account
But unless you can see, invisibility
It’s not a fight that you should mount

Scribbled windscreen notes of anger
Just shows the knowledge that you lack
If you have a doubt, don’t just shout
Don’t just give us flack

Come and chat to find out more
We won’t bite, we won’t bore
Of chronic illness that can’t be seen
Come and learn just what it means

And government, I wish to say to you
Thanks for my freedom badge of blue
But there’s a need for education
On TV and radio across the nation

We shouldn’t need to endure this rage
Not in this day and age
I want to make it loud and clear
We shouldn’t have to live in fear

Our illness is not by our choosing
Just because there’s no bandage or bruising
Doesn’t mean that we are well
But it seems that strangers just can’t tell

Educate your people please
This I beg, down on my knees
It’s bad enough to endure
Illnesses with no sight of cure

To be called words I can’t repeat
The nicest of them all is ‘cheat’
It’s bad enough being disabled
Without uneducated labels

So over to you, those in power
I’m no dainty, delicate flower
But some are broken by this taunting
It scars their lives, forever haunting

We need you now to give protection
To those who suffer such rejection
To ignore this cry would be unforgivable
Protect us all who feel invisible.

Bill Clayton, © Nov 2018

To learn more about Bill, and read more of his work, please visit the The York ME Community website.

If you enjoy poetry, check out the little e-book Christmas With M.E. or Fibro by fellow patient Emma Hope, for just 99 pennies on amazon!

If you’d like to learn more about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (MEcfs), be sure to check out the page I recently added with lots of resources.

Before you go:

I’ve never had ads on my blog, and never wanted them, but it’s expensive to have a website, what with the domain registration & hosting fees. And I haven’t been able to work in four years, and I get no disability benefits – and my medications alone cost me over $300 a month!

If you found this post useful or inspiring, please consider supporting me and my ramblings:

Also, if you would like to help terribly ill #MEcfs patients like me, please consider donating to the Open Medicine Foundation or SolveMECFSInitiative, both of which focus on research and looking for a cure; or #MEActionNet, an organization that focuses on advocacy. Donate online with a credit card, giftcard, or PayPal!

Your support keeps me going, even in tough times. Thank you for stopping by my blog.

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About dSavannah

~ #disabled #spoonie fighting numerous, chronic, painful #InvisibleIllnesses ~ also #wife #feminist #ally #advocate #papyrophiliac #DogCatTurtleWrangler
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