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Nicole Fordham-Hodges - disability arts online
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Disability Arts Online

Ode to a free moment / 15 May 2014

oil painting of a series of vertical buildings against a blue sky

Unitled painting. Photo (c) Colin Hambrook

Zoom in to this image and read text description

Since I started the day job, life has been all horizontals, moving between tasks and roles, drawing thin lines with my self. It's hard to remember the times of deep illness when my life's direction was mostly vertical.

Appreciate what you have whilst you have it, that's the trick, someone told me: simple words that stuck.

I took a fragment of  my  life to reconnect with the vertical space that is DAO, and to post this poem. I hope that you like it.

Ode to a free moment

Fragment of my life
between school run and work run:
you grow like a cornflower
in the paving.

I cycle past you and can 
barely nod: I yearn for you
in the supermarket.

These days I reverence 
each small 
downward movement
as now one still drop hangs
from the plants the autumn sun's
not reached;

or I see you, moment,
on someone's face, hanging
like that drop, and
in the clarity
of his green-blue eyes

is you, indivisible time, 
alone amongst the sold 
and the named.

I used to live in you.
My illness married you.
I sunbathed against your wall.

When I tripped over
you came to me,
when my body's engine stopped
I was wrapped in you.
Oh, you are still

womb to my memories,
you vertical life,
bone of my bones.

In my lunch-hour
we nearly touch.

(c) Nicole Fordham Hodges