Getting the Hurt Leg Fixed, Chapter Two

Getting the Hurt Leg Fixed, Chapter One can be found here.

For Christmas, my son gave me a membership to Chestnut Hill College’s Logue Library, a place I’ve come to love. I’ve done a lot of Poetry Marathon-ing there, and now I belong to the library. For $30, a miniscule sum for the advantages gained, I thought, he got me a library card and so — I now can check out books, and I can visit as much as I want.

Logue Library Chestnut Hill College 7-27-15 small

I plan to make a donation to the library as well, because, as I said, I think these privileges are worth a lot more than thirty dollars. But I digress.

I had decided, before my husband’s accident on Christmas Day, that I would spend one half-day a week at the Logue Library, devoting myself to poetry writing of any kind – sort of a slow-motion Poetry Marathon lasting all of 2017. But, that idea is off the table for right now, since my schedule is in flux with caring for my husband.

Anyway, I had bought two books to celebrate this plan – a new thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary. I could read these books like novels…and flipping the pages of the two, before my husband’s surgery on January 6, I thought: Maybe I can stay on track with the once-a-week idea, with a little creativity, until I can get back to the library.

All right. First week of January, and I packed up my red and black plaid bag to take to the hospital on the 6th, my bag that holds my sketching supplies and now some poetry supplies. I knew I would have a lot of time to wait (and as it turned out, I had more than a lot of time to wait – the surgery schedule fell about three hours behind…)

I spent some time in the cafeteria, writing.

It was hard to settle in at first, but these two books put me on track. I wrote two poems, and I’ll explain how they came about.

First one, “Uncertain Travel”. I saw a man sitting at a nearby table making notes in his appointment book.

Uncertain Travel

The forefinger extends
touches the page in the appointment book
on its outer margin
rests there
light on the thin white paper
Pauses
Then
presses hard on the date printed in squared-off bold-face type.
Draws up the lined page and flips it
to the next week
Once, and then again, again
faster each time
The days flying by
full of potential
skipped over and turned into the past
Just like that
The finger arrives in the future
landing on an anonymous day now marked
for specificity
the finger
gentle over the unfilled space about to be given purpose.
A destination only envisioned as yet
An appointment made. Will the promise
be kept?

The next one, “The Light”. I owe Jane Dougherty a big debt of gratitude for introducing to me this poem form (I have forgotten the name) that is set up this way – 5 lines, each of ten syllables, the end word rhyming. It is for this specific purpose I bought the rhyming dictionary, but I think I might try more rhymes now that I have it.

The Light

The idea. The small flash of brilliance.
The heroine making her first entrance.
The knock on the door breaking the silence.
The receptive bee waiting in patience
alert for the first hint of strong fragrance.

Now we are into another week. I am restricted to home right now. So…hmmm…how will I fulfill this week’s section of the plan? I’m not sure I’ll write about what I do every week, but it seemed important to me to do so this time, to cement the idea of persevering in my head…

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26 thoughts on “Getting the Hurt Leg Fixed, Chapter Two

  1. Great poems. I hope that eking out some time for creative pursuits is helping you maintain some balance in your life in these current circumstance, maybe some decompression too.

  2. Thank you. I was not sure if these poems were any good, but re-reading them, I felt good with them, for themselves and also just for what you said – an outlet for stress and a tie to what matters to me in my regular life – not just the writing and art and so on, but also the observing and thinking about things, that there is not always time to do in situations in flux.

  3. They are good poems and it’s wonderful that you are able to use your waiting time productively. You could collect all the poems you write like this and give them to your husband as a last hospital appointment gift.

  4. Thank you. I liked them but I wondered if my distracted mind was working well enough. I’ve read how to turn blog entries into PDFs and if I accumulate enough poetry and/ or art they can become a little book. I like the idea.

  5. Semi-off the subject but, I suggest you keep a blank book with you at your husband’s bedside and write in the medications he is given, therapies he is scheduled for, and any other health care notes (i.e., how long does it take staff to respond to request for pain meds etc.). I realize you must be past this experience now, but it is always a good idea to write things down when you are present, advocating for a loved one in hospital.
    Best regards,
    Jack

  6. Funny you say this, I have a notebook for everyday life in which I jot down various things, reminders, etc, and I have devoted a section to this experience inside it for just this reason. Medical people hurry you along and you have to slow them down, and make sure you, and they, understand what you want to understand or to be understood (what a sentence I just wrote…). And also, you are very distracted and your memory is not good in times like these. I totally endorse this idea, thanks for mentioning it.

  7. Yes, I really like the idea, and it also is something I like to do – chronicle life. You know, I didn’t do a “get-through-the-winter project this year, like 2015’s Sunshine Project or 2016’s Landscape Giveaway, and we have joked that getting him well this winter is the project.

  8. Glad to help! Having a notebook in your hand with a pencil ready will give the care giver pause, especially if you say, “How do you spell your name again?” And if they ask why, tell them just what you said: your memory is not the best, or something else. That will definitely slow them down. Also, don’t be afraid to question. Once the chief doc of an ER, where my wife was a patient, told me that if more people questioned the docs, there would be less mistakes.

  9. I have just emerged four years of surgeries and medical conditions, related events (many complications of earlier events and of the original fall I took in 2012) and you couldn’t be more right – if you don’t question and keep on top of things, no one will. At first I was timid but as time progressed, well, so did my level of assertiveness. I can see it is already helping me with my husband’s case. Thanks for thinking of us, I really appreciate it, and it’s very supportive.

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