If it were my bone – the unmistaken crack, the grinding,
splintered ends, transformation by pain,
and body thrown from symmetry –
then I would not contaminate or as dis-ease infect the tale
you’d tell of how and where and when it happened –
all the efforts that you make.
So no colour-chosen cast, no bindings, sticks or wheels –
the bestowed badges reducing time as a healer into
a mere inconvenience.
No itches and aches, the murmurs that all is well
to reassure you that soon, sticks returned and cast aside,
exercise will seal the memory.
Instead there is a silence in the grinding splintered ends –
an unheard scream inside, pain of transformation,
an identity out of symmetry.
And I contaminate you with my wound laid bare
that you cannot touch, tell or show to friends,
with honour, for your help.
You are the one pitied – as if my stress fractures were yours
instead – and my sticks strike and bruise you
into the sympathetic arms of friends.
There can be no pride – as when pushing wheels, being
the missing hand or leg, the shoulder, ear or care –
for this insult is on you
as if my wheels attached themselves to your knees, or my
sticks clamped your arms or my cast swallowed up your leg
and my bindings blinded your eyes
and my bone became yours. Because I question the absolute
of my gender, speak of pain unseen that changes my appearance
for all the world to see – and changes you.
You can explain a bone, but there is no heroism in being the wife
of a man whose accident is gender and who suddenly
looks so beautifully wrong.
2012 © Andie Davidson