The brokenness of things: 3

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

Two weeks left
of the fourth grade

two days at home
in bed
with a cast
and bags of ice
on my left arm

to be told
on returning
to the orthopedist
for follow-up X-rays
that the bones
have slipped

which means
I’ll be going
to the hospital
where they can
put me under
to figure out
how to position
my arm
for it to heal

I feel small
and alone
so alone
even though
the nurses in
their green scrubs
are kind

think of your favorite things
says one
as she affixes
the rubbery mask
over my my mouth and nose

what do you like to eat
she asks

her eyes are smiling
over her surgical mask

I cannot see her hands

chocolate chip cookies

and for a second
I can taste them
before a chemical taste
tingles in my mouth

my throat is cold
is the last thing I say
as I descend

A nurse and a surgeon…Etching. CC BY 4.0.

7 thoughts on “The brokenness of things: 3

  1. Oh no, Fran, I am so sorry you are in the hospital. I’m here! You’re not alone. Chocolate cookies are my favorite cookie! I love hot fudge sundaes with chocolate ice cream, though I usually stay away from dairy because I have an intolerance to it. Think of your house finches and bluebirds. Maybe, your granddaughters can visit you; they will cheer you up. I see our two juvenile house finches every day at the bird feeder. The male is almost as bright as Dad.

    We have been eating lots of delicious strawberries! Do you like strawberries or some other kind of berries. Yummy! I love strawberries, raspberries, black raspberries, which my grandmother called black caps, blackberries, and blueberries. She would take us near the Mohawk River to pick wild raspberries and black caps. I took our girls to pick wild raspberries, too, but near our home. We also took them to a farm to pick strawberries, and raspberries. One time before we had kids, Craig and I picked blueberries at a farm almost as big as a quarter because it had rained so much.

    When my periwinkle bloomed this year, I thought of you because I remember your post about your periwinkle flower. I had so many wild irises this year! With all the rain we’re getting today, my flowers are become giants. 🙂 Hopefully, my wandering response kept your mind off your arm. I wish you a speedy recovery and I will pray for you. Please take care.
    PS Think about your granddogs.


    • Yikes, I will have to add a disclaimer ASAP: this is part of a memoir post series from when I was nine. I didn’t anticipate people thinking it was current! I love strawberries by the way – and all your suggestions are exactly what I cling to in current moments when the brokenness of things weigh heaviest. Bless you, Gail 💖


  2. Phooey, my response just flew into cyber space. Gosh, I am so glad that you didn’t break your arm, again. Thank you for explaining. Now, I understand. I read Poem 3 first and Poem 2 second. Maybe that’s why I was confused. Well, both poems are suspenseful and have great voice. I feel like I’m right there with you. I didn’t want to stop reading. If it was a book, I would have quickly turned to the next poem. Since I thought poem 3 was true, then you know it sounds realistic. LOL You are always a great storyteller in your poems and essays. I will have to read poem 1. Keep up the great writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So sorry for the confusion, Gail! Yes, the brokenness poems are all memoir. I tied it together in the spiritual journey post that followed them. But thank you for your words, especially about being a storyteller, and for all your exemplary encouragement.


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