This poem is something I wrote a few years ago for a migraine poetry contest. I have posted it again because the poem is about chronic migraines. I don’t really need to explain it, it rather explains itself. The poem itself about the migraine life. The first stanza: the migraine. Second stanza: The battle, with no victory. We struggle to survive and there is no mercy. Third Stanza: The Suffering. It basically depicts what I feel about the chronic migraine experience.
Now the phrase ‘Dancing on the dagger’s edge’ came from a book I wrote which I won’t get into, but I began to use it for my own experience after that. Dancing on the dagger’s edge is when we don’t have a migraine… yet, but with chronic migraines we are a slip away from being cut by it. In our lives, we are always in a dance with that pain. Then we get stabbed when it actually strikes us. Soon as I feel something coming on in the prodrome or an aura I will say I am dancing on the dagger’s edge, because I am referring to the migraine pain aspect; the dagger cut me already but I have yet to be stabbed.
There is a lot of references to ‘Pain with no bloodshed’, ‘I am slain but not bled’ and ‘cut but not slain’… because chronic pain is invisible. There is no injury. There is no blood. There is no end of life. There is just the migraine, and pain if you get it.
I reference the battle and a war with no victory because I wanted to emphasize that point about chronic pain… we have no victory. We have a fight on our hands. A battle and those battle lines fluctuate forwards and backwards but we never get the victory.
At the time I wrote the poem I was really struggling in survival mode with no effective treatment and that is where the lines “struggle to survive with no mercy” and “I am slain but not bled’ came from. It is very much a struggle to survive when you are in survival mode. When you live an existence and not a life. When your pain is not in the least bit managed. I am slain but not bled, simply means this pain knocks you down for the count but also it can destroy you in some ways.