Here are the Week 2 Winners of our "No-Sugar Added Poetry" Contest. Congratulations on another great week!!! We have such talent in the community.

We had 24 submissions this week (which can be viewed on the contest's member page) and our judging panel has selected the following winners:

1st Place: "three a.m., fifty-four milligrams per deciliter" by Felix
2nd Place: "D is for Diabetes" by Katie B
3rd Place: "Finding Peace" by Seonaid

Honorable Mentions:
"She Waits" by Linda Gauvin-Miller
"My Sugar" by Mark

These submissions are included at the bottom of this post, for your reading convenience.


This week's prize winners should email Manny at manny AT tudiabetes DOT org with your complete mailing address so that you may receive your prizes!

Round 3 judging ends February 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm PT, so please keep your submissions rolling in. For additional details, follow this link.

Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good.
---Ralph Waldo Emerson


three a.m., fifty-four milligrams per deciliter.
darkness. is it? wait, no. am i? am i?
am i awake? am i? am i gonna die?
dumb tongue, tongue dumb. must wake. must wake.
my hhhand, my hhhand is shhhake, is shhhake
ing. gaah, lift my life up, out of this bed
confused, yep, check. and check, my aching head.
get fed, get fed, don't trip, don't slip, don't fall
bed, floor, table, door, open drawer, race into the hall.
she sees me and knows a maniac is on the loose,
in the kitchen, 3am, doublefisting orange juice.


D is for Diabetes
D is for
disturbed.
My baby has stopped eating,
and wants to nurse all day long.
He takes too many naps,
and smiles too few smiles.
I wonder where my son has gone.
The first time I take him to the doctor,
they tell me he has a sore throat,
he will start eating again soon.

D is for
disbelief.
At his 1 year appointment,
we learn that he has lost over a pound
in just 2 weeks.
Another week goes by,
another pound drops off.
He sobs inconsolably when I put him down
and nurses so hard that I ache.
His diapers are too full.

D is for
diagnosis.
One day his breathing becomes labored,
he begins vomiting.
The doctor tells us he is badly dehydrated
and sends us to the hospital for an IV and bloodwork.
Suddenly the nurses rush in,
changing the bags hanging on the IV pole.
He howls as his finger is pricked for the first time.
My mother gasps. The number is in the 500s.

D is for
DKA.
As the ambulance races to the PICU,
the EMT explains ketoacidosis.
It is hours later before I realize
he told me my son was dying.
I rock his limp little body in my arms
to a lullaby of beeping monitors and clicking IV lines.
I bury my face in his hair
and weep the first of many tears.

D is for
diligence.
The CDE comes with syringes, vials, meters, strips,
and gives us the blueprint for our new life:
test him using these,
inject him using these.
A new vocabulary awkwardly tumbles from our lips:
hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, ketones, A1C.
We learn to weigh, to measure, to scrutinize.
Food is not just food anymore.

D is for
dunce.
A lifetime of education,
the double Bachelor's degree, the Master's degree,
and the meter, my daily examiner, shows me
too many highs, too many lows. I am failing.
I am the shamed child in the corner,
the disease the wrathful teacher.
Never have I felt myself to be
so dangerously inadequate.

D is for
determination.
Despite needle sticks and finger pricks,
his laughter still bubbles forth,
his eyes still dance.
It dawns on me that our lives have not ended,
only transformed. I promise my laughing boy
to try and try again,
to learn from our mistakes.

D is for
dreaming.
Somewhere, in a lab,
a scientist bends over a microscope,
and labors on behalf of millions.
Someday, a cure will come.
Someday, my son will say to me,
"Mom, remember when I had D?"
D is for diabetes.


Finding Peace
At my finest moments
I am eyes clear head empty-
hopeful.

At my lowest
thoughts muddled eyes wet-
insecure.

It was the strangest feeling,
I remember. My heart racing
as I tried to cling to the silence that kept me concealed

"You are the light in this family.
You have always been the one to smile."
Crumpled, broken on the bathroom floor... No, no- this does not fit.

So I gathered my heart back into my chest,
pushed the tears back
into my eyes.

Remember? Like it was yesterday.
12 years old,
the day that my mind gave in

believed what my body had told me
for four years,
breathed the hopelessness of an irreparable imperfection.

Turn up the corners of your mouth,
it is the way they have always been
and they tell you that this cannot change.

Holding edges together
beneath a weighted ceiling of contradiction.
Writing, preaching the powerful existence of choice... and yet... and yet.

And yet.
You curl up,
the way you were in the womb
the way you were
before you learned to hurt.

And yet.
You say ... "Only I can change"
but here you are again.
the same.

And yet.
You ask for God,
when yesterday you said-
"He was never here."

Your knees bend,
your head falls down.
Bowing.
nameless, faceless
but you are His.

what rests beneath the darkness
is an unexpected light,
the vigor of your youth.
the soft edges
that frame your face
and challenge the world.
"Tell me
that everything is not as it should be."


This is an ode to all the women with diabetes who have had difficulties in conceiving....
She waits.
Singular in her oasis,
stroking reverently the objects
of the sanctuary.
Immaculate the crib,
the rocker, the dresser.
She slides open once more
the small drawer
fingering the sweater...soft,
inhaling its gentle scent.
She folds it
again, and returns it
to its designated space
between the sleepers and
the socks.
The walls, painted azure and
powdery blue with clouds whispy
h e a v e n l y.
She eases herself in the wicker rocker,
to and fro, to...and...fro.
A gentle breeze sending the
sheers a flutter.
The cologne...lilacs and morning dew.
Refreshed, consoled for a while,
she departs, genly closing behind her
the door...the portal
'till she returns once more,
a junkie longing for her fix.
Soon, she will hold in her beseeching arms
the child she already holds in her heart.
This blessed infant, long awaited
from another.


My Sugar
My sugar is a honey bear
several lifetimes deep
I let no droplets fall on me
since sugar makes me sleep

My sugar is a silver spoon
used to mix the cake
I cannot lick it sparkling clean
since that might make me ache

My sugar is a heavy rug
that's numb and soaking wet
I shun its clammy, hugging clasp
I can't be in its debt

My sugar is a coffin nail
used to keep me in
I claw and pry its rusty head
before symptoms begin

My sugar is a distant dream
I once knew how to swim
But now I have to float along
to ward my life and limb

Views: 25

Comment by Sohair Abdel-Rahman on February 5, 2009 at 11:04pm
We have a beautiful collection that take my breath away.I think our book will be a surprise for the whole world supporting diabetes awareness in a novel way.Cannot wait to see it all over the world in book stores.

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