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What I want the surgeon to know

– Poem by Guy Thorvaldsen –

Shoes walking
What I want the surgeon to know

is not included
in the pre-op interview,
where my life of pain has been reduced
to color-by-number shades:
a lavender 4 to get out of bed,
an orange 7 when driving,
a ten-fold flash of crimson to tie my shoes.

The real facts are how it hurts like hell
to not shoulder the weight
I have always carried in the world.
How I now miss the faces of friends
when they pass because my head is lowered
in mourning for the man who used to dance
down sidewalks.
How yesterday I woke up in a sweat
having dreamed of a paraplegic sea turtle,
its limp legs hanging
from a much too metaphorical shell.
How I am no longer able to raise my chin
to please my lover in the old way.

And how unhinged I feel when the shadow of a gull
or hawk or owl slides across
my increasingly narrow path,
and I cannot glance up
and over my shoulder in response,
to trace the mystery,
identify the source
of this dark and flickering light.

About the Author – Guy Thorvaldsen
Guy Thorvaldsen

Guy Thorvaldsen’s poetry has appeared in Alligator Juniper, Forge, Gulfstream, Magma 69, Zone, and  Poet Lore.  His first full-length book, Going to Miss Myself When I’m Gonecame out in October 2017 through Aldrich Press. He teaches writing at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin. He is also a journeyman carpenter, husband, dad, and contributing poet/essayist for community radio.

Did you like this poem by Guy Thorvaldsen? Then you might also like:

Sanctuary, and other poems
The Body as Poem
Metaplasia and other poems
This is What Death Does
Things I’ve Learned on the Road
Dog Men (A Prison Story)
We grew up on fear and became heroes
Mud Season, Graceless & Violet Abandon
The damsel in distress was not for me
In the Blink of an Eye, Risk Taking, Afterfall
In Time I’ll Thank Shamon
The Space I Take
The Worst Drunk Poem I’ve Ever Written

To check out all the poetry available on Dreamers, visit our poetry section.

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