Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "The Rituals of the Moon"

This poem came out of the February 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] ng_moonmoth and Shirley Barrette. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to The Moon Door series.

Warning: This poem deals with predictable pain and mental impairment, and Hilla prefers that to the unpredictable kind she had before.

"The Rituals of the Moon"

A werewolf has
three bad days a month.

Hilla knows how to handle
bad days -- she used to have
a lot more of those.

Now they come
like clockwork:
the day before
the full moon,
the day of, and
the day after.

She can plan
for those days.

It's a ritual.

Hilla hangs up
a chart in her room
with a morning routine,
an afternoon routine,
and an evening routine.

Wake up, use toilet,
eat breakfast, brush teeth ...

On the full moon itself,
there is a routine for before
the change and another one
for after the change is over.

Clean wolf room.
Put down foam mat.
Fill food and water bowls ...

The whole next day is
all kinds of aftercare.

Sit in easy chair.
Turn on iPad.
Start reading ...

The charts make it
easy to get things done
in the right order without
missing steps, even when
she has brain fog.

It's a familiar technique;
a lot of the other women in
the chronic pain support group
use it, or something like it.

When Hilla sets up
her charts and icons,
she knows that everything
is going to be okay.

It's a ritual.
It's predictable.
That makes it precious.

Hilla looks forward
to those three days,
in a way, because she
always knows when
they will happen.

She doesn't tell
Randie that part,
because Randie is
twitchy about using
lycanthropy to treat
chronic pain, but for
Hilla it's a blessing.

That's okay too.
Everyone's experience
is different. That's life with
any chronic condition.

It is enough for Hilla
to know this about herself:

She loves the rituals of the moon.

* * *


Cognitive offloading transfers memory functions outside the mind onto technology. It can be a computer but it can just as easily be a paper calendar. Memory aids help people with all kinds of cognitive issues, temporary or permanent. Symbols can help keep a visual schedule. There are lots of free resources including printables and routines. See some icon schedule cards and a morning routine.

Brain fog is a type of mental impairment that can have many causes. Here are some ways to cope with it.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, safety, weblit, writing
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