The brokenness of things: 2

part of a story-poem memoir, when I was nine

I never heard
of an orthopedist
until my father
takes me
after the fall
on the playground

and why has he brought
my Baby Ann doll

her plastic fingers
and face
look more smudged
than ever
in the glaring fluorescent light
of the exam room
where I sit
too embarrassed
and in too much pain
to say
I am not eight anymore
I am too old
for dolls now

the orthopedist
looks grim
while surveying
X-rays
of my poor left arm
against the light

not broken
in the typical place

an injection
for what’s about to come

it does no good, really

the orthopedist
braces himself
against the table
grips my damaged arm
with both of his hands

and pulls
and pulls
and pulls

my feral scream
comes of its own accord

that’s when Daddy
cries out

STOP. STOP.

— the orthopedist stops
he wipes his forehead

Daddy is pale
so pale
his blue eyes
animal bright

(in later years
he will say
I couldn’t stand
that man

but I knew
in the moment
he could not stand
my pain)

he stands there
clutching Baby Ann

who smiles at me
in her plastic way

she cannot help me now
but maybe
she’ll get Daddy through

doll hand. David Lee King. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

One thought on “The brokenness of things: 2

  1. I can feel your pain and emotion in this suspenseful poem. I love your ending “but maybe
    she’ll get Daddy through”. I’m sending you more prayers and 🙂
    PS My poppy bloomed before the deer or bunny could eat it. Yay! I hope today’s rain doesn’t pull it apart before I can go outside to enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

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