of course it all depends
on how you pronounce it
this word that means
both ill and null and void
this word that creeps up on you
even when you lie there
perfectly still hoping
against hope that
what you are is
something other than
not important
something other
than terminal or
debilitated or even
just plain sick
but this word
it just keeps
creeping and you can look
away if you want
it’s not there in the
room with you but
this is a word
you cannot
run from





A poem a day for 30 days.
In honor of National Poetry Month
this post is part of NaPoWriMo. see more here.

6 Responses to “invalid”

  • Anna Montgomery Says:

    This made me cry and brought to mind the painful reality of getting my mentee a formal letter from director of the homeless shelter so she could obtain a state ID. Once we’d gone through the process she looked at me and said, “I hate that piece of paper”. It represented the harsh reality, her label of the moment (unfortunately she has others through mental illness and past incarceration). Language has such power in its application that is often dismissed. For example when I worked to provide art therapy at a women’s shelter we never referred to someone as a homeless woman but a woman experiencing homelessness (a condition not an identity). I’m going on and on when I should really say you blow me away with the potency of your words.

  • Debi Says:

    it is a word i think about often. how the one meaning so shadows the other; if you ARE one, you are the other. you cannot run, but you can try, i think. flounder in the darkness. hope you will bump into a door that opens outward into sunshine.

    a terrible word.

  • Pat Byers (Tilda) Says:

    humm? this one almost scares me.
    i also saw the word and thought of it as invalid? or invalid?
    either way, a difficult word ‘to run from’.
    in my fondest of thoughts. tilda

  • vicki Says:

    where i spend much time…

  • aprille Says:

    Oh, those words that sum us up –
    I won’t run, but I won’t listen either.
    Well written on a sad subject.

  • Marcie Says:

    This somehow brought tears to my eyes. Powerful poem!

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