Storying Sheffield

Transit of Keppra


This poem by Ruth Chalkley is part of the project “A Dialogic Exploration of Gluten Ataxia“.
Ruth writes: “Medication taking becomes a huge issue, and the drugs and their side-effects take on lives of their own in terms of how routines are created, along with the need to be organised, and the reflection on how they, like the stars and planets, have sway over us in ways we cannot really comprehend.”
Transit of Keppra
Strange the meds should run out like this.
And yet they have – together.
Like some Transit of Venus
On a lifetime, foil packed, capsuled journey
My calculations have failed me in requesting more,
And I need to think this out.
So here’s this transit of disambiguation.
A small dark spot, moving across the face of Helios,
Passing directly between Earth and Sun,
Her diameter, 3 times that of the Moon, makes her travel slowly;
She is so much farther away from Earth.
My MRIs show spots.
Inflammation against my Sun’s bright disc,
I too move slowly, so much further from my Earth now.
Keppra, with Gabapentin, have me eclipsed.

Such transits are usually measured in hours:
Her last journey was six hours and forty minutes.
Mine have lasted just as long.
Rarest of predictable phenomena,
Her transits are patterns that can repeat
Every two hundred and forty years,
As pairs, eight years apart.
Historically of great scientific importance,
From transits came the first real estimates
Of the Solar System’s size.
Maybe they will learn the interictal transits in my case,
Bring observations of these things to bear
And take the science forward, as early observers did.
Starred now in my diary,
A new calendrical cycle starts.
Mortality. Morbidity. The transits none of us can know.