I felt bad saying:

“your arm will get in the way”

but I swear it will.


Fluency both of

language and dexterity

are talents of yours,


will I recognize

your face when your words emerge

vulnerable and


hesitant, or when

you only have one working

hand, and I know that


I am always over-

reacting, you tell me to

calm down, slowly, breathing out.


Boys fall over and

girls get hurt but my best friend

should not be that person


for I have too much

fear and too many thoughts to

deal with all on my own.


Arms in slings are not

things I cope with well after

my baby sister


got hurt too. I would

take all the pain from all those

I love if only


they would let me try.

I would have run and caught her

as she fell off  a


playground bridge, I would

never for a moment let

her think that she was


alone. I would never have

had to sit with my back against

a hospital wall in


front of a pair of

surgery doors, tearstained,

no one would ever have


wheeled her in,

I would never for a moment

let her think that


she was alone because

she would never have to be,

I would protect her,


build me a plane

powered by the clouds that filled

the skies that day,


maybe with the

sunlight on her face she

would not have fallen,


let me try.

I would never have to look

down at this


tiny girl with an

enormous, bare white,

plaster cast


on an arm that

looked no more than play-dough

the last time that I saw it.


I would have

caught my father as well, how

I wish I had, I


would do anything

to sail through the velvet night sky and

find myself in that


moment, to make it

all right, so that my wondrous

father would never


have to write on the

top of a cast that  engulfed

his whole leg, “this too


shall pass.” Instead, I

wish that it could have passed

through me, every limb


of this body will

snap with unsounding joy if

they never have to


feel that again, I

will take it with no sound, I

would rejoice in these


battle scars as each

lies on my skin as proof that

I saved you from it,


I would never show

you. The lengths I will go to

to keep you safe


are not something

that you have to see, I will

hide it  amongst


sheafs of ink-blotted paper

and the hours I spent paralyzed as

you closed your eyes,


getting stitches with

no anaesthetic, let me play the

role of sedative,


storms rage on calm

oceans, let me show you that

there is nothing that I


would not do, no pain

is beyond being masked if

I do it for you.


If I fail you and I

cannot take all the things

that hurt you upon


myself, trust that these

hands will hold yours tight,

these aching bones will


not leave your side, the

skies shine full of comets that shoot

like silver bullets and if


you cannot see I will tell you.

I hope you heal quickly, best friend,

my whole heart goes to you.



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