The red wheelchair



Leg Break
White on black
negative image
fractured bone.
Right leg side-lined
internal plate and pins
surgically implanted
in my right ankle
under spinal anaesthetic.
Numb from waist to toe
I am yet a watchful
listener at my operation.
A nurse takes my glasses
so nothing I can now see is
as hard-edged as the banter
of male medico voices
and the surgeon calling shot, shot.
I begin to imagine
I am forever trapped
in an episode of M*A*S*H
longing to escape.
The red wheelchair
after William Carlos Williams' 'The Red Wheelbarrow'
so much depends
a red wheel
lined with black
beside the front
even more depends
two ramps
to convey a
red wheel
into the world
so much depends
a black moon
crossed with Velcro straps
keeping the leg
in the red wheelchair.

Sue Cook

Sue Cook's poems have been published in literary magazines and online. Her first book of collected poems, In Focus, will be published in early 2016 by Ginninderra Press. A teacher of senior English for 17 years, she edited Spring Poetry Festival for the South Australian English Teachers Association for seven years.

Topic tags: Sue Cook, hospital, broken leg



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Existing comments

I liked the nod to William Carlos Williams - he is inspirational. WCW's "This is just to say" is also a favourite.
Pam | 05 October 2015

ditto thanks
Peter Goers | 06 October 2015

Hi Sue, great to see you in online print! Strong, stark words.
Steve Daughtry | 06 October 2015

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