Thursday, March 31, 2011

Death by Paper


My carpal tunnel surgery is healing like gangbusters. I’ve been typing since Friday, the day it took place. My right hand is alive again. It feels like a stab wound on the base of my palm but I’m not taking even Tylenol (thank you AA!). The oddest thing about the ordeal is that the anesthesiologist couldn’t knock me out with a double dose of the usual stuff, and we will have to concoct a new cocktail next month when I have the left hand done. Recovering addict / alcoholic that I am, drugs interest me very much.


I’m limited in what I can do with my bandaged right hand. It’s 80 degrees here, following a great rain, and the weeds call me. But left-handed weeding is unsatisfactory. So I decided to participate in Theme Thursday, which today is paper. A memory came to me, and I wrote this poem about it.

The Roll of Newsprint

Seven years old and in love
with a kitten born to the anonymous
family cat, I came home from school
one day eager to see her as always
a girl is eager to see the ball of fluff
known as kitten, cuddly and somehow
near to being just like me, the me
I wished for, an extension of my psyche,
laughter and playfulness in a life
bereft of both. My stern mother said,
before I changed into the designated
play clothes, changed my awful shoes,
when I had just slipped in the door
wary as always of my mother’s
ways,she stood at the sink, working
as always, not looking at me
but responding to the noise of me,
Your kitten died, crushed by the roll
of newsprint in the garage that fell
on it. I cleaned up the mess.

I stood there in the doorway
not comprehending what I heard,
picturing the towering roll of paper
so much taller than I, leaning
on end against a corner of the garage.
My brother’s Cub Scout pack used it
once to paint banners that hung
on a truck in the town’s parade.
It was never used again, thereafter
always standing on end in the corner
and it was heavy, far more than I
could handle. How could it fall?
She was doing something
at the sink and she studied what it was,
and she never looked at me
in my school dress and Dr. Scholl’s
shoes, which I hated, she didn’t bend
down, she didn’t soften the blow.
She crushed me like a roll of newsprint
falling as a ton of death on my fragile
body, my laughter, my kitten self,
never cuddly again.



More takes on the theme here.

20 comments:

Andrew said...

That is sad.

Blessings, dear one.

Elisabeth said...

A poignant and tragic poem, Enchanted, but it's good to hear your hand's really on the mend.

izzy said...

Oh so sad ! I have a horse story like that- thanks for sharing.

Marla said...

Oh my gosh, Chris. This broke my heart. Did we have the same mother?

Brian Miller said...

ugh. how tragic....makes me think of all the animals i see littering the roads...

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

I had an emergency surgery, twisted intestine a couple years ago, when they brought me into the emergency room the doctor and techs were concerned when it took 5 doses of morphine to even touch the pain. I am definitely NOT normal in respects to drugs or alcohol.

Grateful that the Doctors did what they had to, and I didn't need more than a couple doses of the pain meds they gave me afterward.

That was always the case as I remember now, even back in the early 90s when I had knee surgery 1/2 way through I came to fully. I remember the shock of the Doctors and anesthesiologist, AND ME! :)

Steve E said...

Oh my! What 'they' did to us. I'm sure many of 'them' "knew not what they did"

Somehow, Chris (H.O.W.) we made it, thank God. Blessings, and peace in sobriety now to you...midst those whirling dervishes, such as hand operations, and the aftermath.

We have only to be grateful, and show it by our actions. YOU add SO much to our blog world. Thank you!

Magpie said...

Wow...how hurtful...how something beyond uncaring - maybe mean-spirited. But not, because my mom is the same way and I keep trying to believe she's not mean, but cold.
Glad you're on the mend. Please don't overdue things though in your rapture of feeling better. :)

The Bug said...

Poor little girl. Poor kitten. But a wonderful telling of the story.

just jane said...

I think you have found your "kitten self" again, in this poem. It was beautiful, and I am sad that you lost your beautiful fur person. Peace to you.

Ellie said...

I just want to hug that little girl.

So sad!

Meri said...

Such heartlessness -- the wounding of a tender heart. Glad you're mending on one hand and that a strategy is being worked out so that the second hand can be operated upon.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

First, so happy that your hand is on the mend, and when I had my skull opened this year I only took Tylenol and that was it, just over the counter, and it was good enough, thank you AA.!!

The poem is eloquent in how we are as children, so alive and yet at the same time adults around us forget that spark we have and with no intentions of harm, do just that, and sometimes with the intention...I cried reading this knowing that feeling of sadness, much love to you my Enchanted Friend!

PS: It's snowing here, so I would love 80 degrees!

Titus said...

A powerful poem.

And best wishes for the healing.

chrisd said...

That's seriously terrible.

I can imagine what my kids will be saying about me. yikes!

This was a beautiful poem about lost childhood. Wow. So very sad.

Syd said...

I am so sorry about your kitten. My cousin killed my kitten with a baseball thrown at it. Resentment was there for a long time. Take care of your hand. You tore my heart on this one.

the walking man said...

I had both hands done and was back to fixing cars 3 months to the day i went off from work.

Was your mother really that unapproachable? Personally at that age i may have set the roll of offending paper a rolling as a fiery mass down the street.

Enchanted Oak said...

As Steve said in his comment up there, "They know not what they do."

My mother was cold and angry a lot when I was a child. She said I made her that way. That upset me for decades.

She became a different woman in the winter of 1971-72, my senior year of high school. That was the time of the Jesus Movement, which warmed up many members of the Christian faith and caused many nonChristians to proclaim that faith. My mom, a stout-hearted Lutheran, was one of those who was changed.

She found her Savior, and in the span of a few months she became a loving mother to me. For the rest of her life, she was a beautiful mom and a loving woman (most of the time ~ in the late stages of Alzheimer's, she developed a penchant for striking bossy caregivers with her cane).

I changed too. That always helps.

I love you, Mom. I miss you.

Dianne said...

oh kitten,
this will be 3 years I said goodbye, and I am losing something inside.

your mom found a loving God.
glad your hand is once again your own.

Di

Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz said...

This went straight to my heart, being a vet tech. Accidents happen, loss happens but they are easier to bear when one is surrounded by comforting arms and gentle words.

I remember my mom running over our little dog when I was a kid and she was newly divorced, a shaky time anyway. We had gone to the drive in movie and we were asleep in the back of the car (no seatbelts then? Hell, I can't remember). The dog ran into the road, and them my mom ran off the road and got stuck in the sand (desert)...it was an awful night, still remembered after 47 years...

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