This poem was written by Ciara Walsh as part of our 'Disability pride starts here' project.

Click here to listen to Ciara, the author, reading her article.



to grieve for yourself

what once you were

watching the windows of what might have been

be drawn over with black tar curtains

struck. stuck. standing.

                                              in the in-between

acquired affliction

soul body bones

fractured flaking

like clay

heat ever pressedddagainst you

white hot            petulant poker prods

steadfast sapphire flame


u n y i e l d i n g

u  n  y  i  e  l  d  i  n  g


like tiny sprouts poking heads through cracked tiles

moss blanketing a crum bl in g weatherworn house

a window shattered is still an


while body falters

sun bLisTerEd

skin crinkling

lightly charred autumn leaves

veins set aligHT

mauve and burgundy



depth in colour, tone, expression, sensation, frustration, adulation

monochrome jade vessel is insipid

playful summer

you’ve been         surpassed

march isn’t easy

she’s beautiful

i haven’t fallen yet

born to spring

o marigold baby

sandcastle children


never glimpse the snow fall

autumnal youth

hold her at bay

da n c i n g                   on the branches


tiring a little sooner

spinning a little slower



drip pi ng


soft egg yolk


                       myriad of hues

kaleidoscope radiance

i’ll ride out the hail


trudge through          weighted rain

sift through fog

unfu r l i    n      g behind my irises

and i’ll wonder at it all

marvel at the world

                                         at myself.

in some ways I’ve never been more fragile

and yes

          an autumn leaf can tear more easily


in so many ways I’ve never felt stronger

i am

a patient

patient body

a patient

to my mind





About the poem

My name is Ciara, I am currently 24 and in my 18th year of life I became sick and was eventually diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain and fatigue syndrome. For me disability pride comes from resilience, strength and opportunity. This poem is about moving into adulthood and acquiring a life altering illness during the process. Having to change, adapt and grow up in more ways than expected stepping into this new era of life. However, living in a body that shows you every day its different has taught me so much and given me appreciation for myself and the world in a way I didn’t know was possible. I feel in tune with myself like I never have before, I understand and see myself in a way I couldn’t until I had to. I’ve learnt to let go of what past me saw as my future and embrace life, find wonder in it and pride in myself. I think I’ve grown more than I ever could’ve if not faced with this challenge. My body and mind are amazing, they feel the effects of pain and fatigue everyday, yet Iachieve, thrive and show myself how strong and multifaceted I am regardless, or maybe even because of.

Meet the writer

Ciara (she/her) is a musician, writer, reader, HR professional, political graduate, animal adorer, nature lover, baker, dessert enthusiast, earring collector, occasional gamer, art admirer, frequent flyer and much much more. 

However she is also a young person trying to figure out how to navigate the world while living with chronic pain and fatigue (fibromyalgia), adhd, depression, anxiety and dyslexia.