What Actually Hurts?

Mail art on a painted library card. The name of the poem is “Low Point”.

Low Point small

This poem grew in the usual way, words shuffled around from various printed sources. But, I think its direction was set by an experience I had last September. I fell in my driveway, tripping over my backpack. I didn’t break any bones, but I had a lot of bruises, and I badly cut my hand on the backpack’s strap. I recently had surgery, in fact, to deal with lingering issues from the hand injury, so you can see the experience has not yet faded into the past.

At the time of the fall, my first thought was that I somehow had to get out of public view, out of sight of the cars passing on the road. Not whether I was badly hurt, or could even move, but embarrassment. That’s what I felt at the instant I could think again. I think we all fear laughter when we do something like this and it can even seem as painful as actual injuries. Doesn’t make sense, but…

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