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A closed window

Andy Jackson
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (11): 710.
Published online: 18 June 2012

You wake to a doctor, sitting where your leg would be.
How brave, they say, as if a body is to be endured.
Through a closed window — a wind-tossed tree.

You wanted to be normal, not to be reassured.
What is lost? An empty room soon fills with echoes.
How brave, they say. As if a body is to be endured,

you keep score, sitting in the stands. Who knows
what a nine-child home swallows with its noise?
What is lost? An empty room soon fills with echoes —

two girls, one lost at birth, and six growing boys.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to be sung.
What a nine-child home swallows with its noise

is no more bitter than the taste of your own tongue.
Is a wood and plastic limb a tender, living thing?
There’s nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to be sung.

They come at night — mask, needle, saw — calling . . .
You wake to no doctor. Sitting where your leg would be
is a wood and plastic limb. A tender, living thing

through a closed window — a wind-tossed tree.

  • Andy Jackson

  • St Vincents Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: andyjackson71@fastmail.fm

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