(May 2014)

An  interlocutor interrupted
my brain and back:
Its harsh bark silenced
their rhythmic chat.

The intruder lodged between
T4 and T5 spinal lumbar.
It hit its mark clean–
just below the heart.

I jabbed the ground with a crutch
to press my numbed legs hard
but in stillness they trembled
like old jam stuck in a jar.

So I took a different tack
after angry protestation
and began looking elsewhere
for smoother conversation.

I now begin, ‘how is your day?’
and nurses know
my mind is more inclined
to enjoy their stories
than to resync with my spine.

I alight on a question, and my curiosity
kicks off keen answers and laughter
that travels farther than legs will carry
and can be savored long after.

I flash a smile, and discourse with a new universe
illuminates empty spaces within.
Stars flicker by way of smiles
and grins.

I am thawing out numbness
within this stubborn heart.
How much will heal is still unclear,
but I do think beginning was a good start.


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