MAN AMONGST MEN 1940

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 21, 2016

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Submitted: July 21, 2016

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Just when you think
your mind has accepted
a situation, it betrays you,
and asks: why have you
lost your legs and are blind?

And how will you cope
and gives a picture
of many mornings,
when you will wake up,
and see nothing again,
never see a sunset or sunrise,
never walk or dance again,
and it brings you down
and depresses you.

When I wake up
this morning,
that is how it is,
that numb darkness,
that disorientation,
that lostness.

I hear footsteps
on the ward,
near my bed.

Morning Grace,
how are you
this morning?

Who are you?
I ask.

Sister Wellings,
come to see how you are,
she says.

Depressed and fed up,
I say,
putting on a grumpy face,
staring towards where
I think she is.

Not surprised at that,
she says,
I'd be depressed
and fed up, too,
if I lost my legs
and was blind,
but you are a fighter,
Grace and will
overcome this just
give it time.

How much time?
I ask.

I sense her hands
move the bed covers back,
and her fingers
feel along
the bandaged leg stumps.

As long as it takes,
she says,
I was on a ward last month
where we had soldiers
wounded at Dunkirk.

Did you?
I say,
my boyfriend died at Dunkirk.

The thought wounds me,
and I almost choke
on the following words:
we were going marry.

O God, how sad
and now this,
she says,
as her fingers
take off the bandages.

I feel her hands
move over the stumps.

They're healing well,
she says,
soon have
the bandages off completely.

I recall Clive
touching my thighs,
and his fingers moving over
where she moves now.

Then what?
I say,
can I have artificial legs?

Of course,
I expect in time,
she says.

I try to imagine
walking on legs
not mine,
trying to balance
and trying to imagine
Philip watching me
and wondering what
he would think then,
and would he
then just be a man
amongst men?


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