Thursday, September 30, 2010


18. a poem that repeatedly uses numbers

Contraventions My Body Remembers

The first cut on rocks
in a river near Sydney
my foot still wearing
a pale half-moon scar
fifty-five years on.

Two teeth extracted
at age eight, to save
my jaw from a fate
worse than starvation.
The needles enormous.

Between those two 
milestones, the tonsils
taken, all two of them,
and somewhere I imagine
they fertilized healthy soil.

The first of two Caesarean
births made more laborious
by two sets of pins and plates
holding a broken ankle together.
I played Uno which means One

until the foetal distress began.
And all the singular events:
one cyst in a breast
one cyst in a lymph gland
one injured knee

one sprained wrist
one tumour in a breast
Eight lymph nodes 
sacrificed. And at least
four twisted ankles

weakened by old falls.
Last Sunday at Emergency
at nine am,  the trainee 
nurse said: Good blood 
pressure. Good weight. 

The deep cut in a finger from 
peeling home-grown pumpkin 
for soup bled generously
and I guess I should have
collected five mls for posterity.

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