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May 14, 2024

Clear answers - a short poem

Filled with beeping machines and stainless steeI didn’t want to see

Content warning: Medical procedure, chronic pain
This content has a custom transcript:

They puncture my skin

with implements; 


and expertly wielded.

I saw the room before going under
It was bright;

and sterile.

Filled with beeping machines
and stainless steel
I didn’t want to see

The nurse smiles at me.
A needle goes into my hand.
“It will be okay,” she tells me,

softly petting my head.

A tear escapes my eye—
as if it can sense my fear;
as if it too wants to escape a body
where answers are not clear.

Reality fades

So do I.


I wake, gasping
To the “good news”:
“We still can’t find out what’s wrong with you.”

I can’t breathe.
Everything hurts.
They don’t understand!

“You don’t have it,” their cheerful voices soothe.

“That’s a good thing,dear.”

But no answers at all

is the answer I feared.

Is it in all in my head?

I begin to doubt myself.

A fresh wave of pain hits

crippling me;

tearing me from the insideout

like a thousand tinyblades;


only to never leave amark—

At least, not one they canfind.

They wheel me away

I collapse again intosweet,




It’s late afternoon now.

I stare out the hospitalwindow

to the mist-coveredgreenery beyond.

It’s a cold winter’safternoon;

condensation drips fromthe window 

like the tiny droplets

leaking down my warm,tired face.

My roommate hears mecrying.

She opens up the palecurtain.

She’s at least forty yearsolder than me.

With a knowingness in hereyes, she hugs me

And tells me:
“everything will be okay”.


Zoe Simmons is an award-winning journalist, editor, copywriter, author, speaker and disability advocate.

Having been published hundreds of times around the globe--including by news.com.au, Daily Mail, New

York Post, 9Honey, ABC, Mamamia, Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, New Idea, That's Life and more--Zoe

knows how to capture audiences through the raw power of storytelling. She speaks and writes candidly

about her experiences with disability, mental illness, autism and chronic pain to smash stigma, create

change, and show others they're not alone. When not running her copywriting business, writing articles or

speaking at events, Zoe can be found writing books (she's been published in six), and working on her first

book about her experience as a disabled journalist in the 2019/2020 Australian Black Summer Bushfires.

You can see more of Zoe's work at https://zoesimmons.com.au/


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