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morning hands (a.k.a. living with hashimoto’s disease) by Lisa Reily

i’m awake 
but my eyes do not open;

so dry they’re glued together.

i reach blind for my drops,

splatter my sticky eyeballs,

stumble to the kitchen.

i said i’d walk today, but i know 

i can’t promise you anything.

it’s morning, but the day is over. 

i’m hungry, but cannot eat; half an hour till food,

then pills with food,

plus an hour before i can have coffee;

i’m supposed to quit, but decaf

has become the thrill in my day.

you make breakfast; you’ve given up 

on my morning hands, their drops and spills.

i lift the blanket on our bed

when suddenly you appear in our bedroom; 

we both know my back is already aching. 

i don’t argue these days.

you set an alarm, count time before i can eat;

i document yesterday.

what did i have for lunch? i ask.

we both can’t remember.

you move my glass of water away from me as I type:

a good day. no gluten, no dairy, no egg, no sesame,

garlic, or onion; like a recipe, i document

my day, my food, my pills, my body, 

reducing medications, making changes;

so i can never feel good for too long,

never get used to anything.

my antibodies are down; things are going well.

i resign to make some sort of cake:

gluten free, dairy free, and egg free, 

with icing.


Lisa Reily is a former literacy consultant, dance director and teacher from Australia. Her poetry has been published in several journals, such as Amaryllis, London Grip, The High Window, Panoplyzine, Channel Magazine, and The Fenland Reed. You can find out more at


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