Friday, May 16, 2014

Prosthetics

A very old spokenword poem.

Coal miners, Ladrymbai










I hate that you had no dad.
No father, yeah, like a missing leg,
he should’ve been there but gangrene
was eating him. He cut himself off,
and now you hobble, magnificent, on your
one, muscle-strapped, overworked leg.

There’s no going back.
No one can sew those dead flesh years
back on your healed-over stump.
No one can make the fire-sharp pain,
the mad, thumping pain, the now dull pain
that aches in damp weather go away—
no one can make you forget he’s not there,
even if you don’t remember him.

I want to fix it. I wave my arms
furiously, muttering incantations over
the thick, synthetic trunk of a limb
deep in the night as you sleep, detached.
In the day you never seem to mind
your fake leg, but I do. Cause I see you
try to get up in your sleep, try to walk
to the kitchen on a phantom limb. I see
you cry when you fall back on your bed,
reaching for what isn’t there.

So back in the daylight
I wince every time your heavy leg bangs
into the asphalt on one end, bangs
into your scarred, hidden stump on the
other. All the things that try to keep you up
bruise you. All your highs that come down
with a crash—all your people who let you run
on them for a second and then yank
themselves away with a laugh and a bang—
yes—I wince.

'Cause I can’t walk for you, I can’t
donate one of my limbs. My dad’s my dad,
my past’s my past. And you are you.
We lose every three-legged race cause
you’re too fast for me. But here are my
arms.











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