why i didn’t go to mike ladd’s 50th birthday party.


the tractor-mower hits a stump on the slope and

flips in a second. thrown off, earphones ripped from

the ipod when sergio is between mas que na and da.

then an adrenalin-fuelled leap to avoid

being crushed between tractor and post

and trailing fingers go thump in the blades.

when the eyes see the end of the finger hanging,

a flap of mincemeat, a second thump of the heart

orchestral stab in a horror movie soundtrack.

the other hand squeezes

mashed flesh to stem the flow.

the drive to flinders medical centre, cold sweat

dripping into eyes, blood dripping on gumboots,

willing myself to breathe slowly. hot needle pain.

triage, grass-clippings on the e.r. floor,

calming pulse, x-rays. the matter-of-fact

egyptian surgeon with french accent.

my eyes clamp shut as he works

for almost an hour reconnecting

nerves, tissues and finally skin.

later i watch him fascinated as he

reconstructs the end of my ring finger,

a busted raw sausage held together

with fine blue thread.

© rob walker.

(first published in Australian Poetry Members Anthology Metabolism

ISBN: 978-0-9871-7650-9 March, 2012)

Also in tropeland (Five Islands Press) 2015

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *