Patti Masterman


If Love Must Maim Me - Poem by Patti Masterman

if love must maim me
i'll wear his bandage proudly:
a subway rider with only one foot left,
and regale the other riders with tales of my trauma
the endless tortures of my suffering, my lack of compensation
how dangerous we didn't know riding the rails could be
how one seemingly normal day, my foot suddenly betrayed
collapsed me under that thundering arrival
and everyone screamed to see my arm still sticking out
from beneath the bright eyed dragon, that was trying to devour me

how my lover felt a chill go up her spine
at that exact moment, in a far-away place
and how she knew something must have gone very wrong
and how later, her family could no longer stomach the idea
of her being married to an invalid, for all her days-
i won't include the irrelevant details
that she had weeks before pursued a man much older,
with endlessly fat wallets
and that i had become just a passing play thing
till she figured out what she wanted to be
when she grew up

i won't mention that my maiming was because of being drunk,
and my bullying rewarded, with a shove
that landed me under the centipede feet of the car;
no- it's obvious that people must have a hero;
and in this way, i'll alway see the love, shining wetly
on the cheeks of the young girls;
and on the best days, one of them will accompany me home
supporting me on one slender arm
talking of weather, and the ever-present crowds of shoppers;
the sudden unexpected cruelties life sometimes deals us,
and in her own way, she'll try to reassure me
that i'll always have everything that a tragically wounded man
could ever need, in his unfortunate life.


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 11, 2010



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