Touch: The Journal of Healing



At the VA

    by Ed Bennett

I’ve become good at this:

basketball without my lower legs,

weaving between the other wheelchairs

to a net suspended a regulation ten feet,

shooting three feet lower than usual,

sinking it, putting points on the board.

My sergeant would call this a successful

flanking move around an enemy defense,

a demonstration that I can be

all that I can be, less a few body parts,

a few additional scars and shrapnel

than when I enlisted.

It isn’t fair when we play the para team

because if they are knocked over

there is no pain for them, but it hurts

like hell for the amputees guarding their stumps,

open and vulnerable as we all were once before

the world exploded and we became flotsam.

In an hour there will be parallel bars,

fitted titanium prosthetics, therapists rooting

as we stand and walk toward them

in a jerk legged stagger with our heads up,

our brains singing: “My country ‘tis of thee,

look what’s become of me.”

© 2011 Ed Bennett

Ed Bennett is a Telecommunications Engineer living in Las Vegas and is a Staff Editor of Quill and Parchment.  Originally from New York City, his work has appeared in The Patterson Literary Review, The Externalist, Philadelphia Poets, Quill and Parchment, Autumn Skies Poetry, and Touch: The Journal of Healing.  The Lives You Touch Publications will publish his chapbook, A Transit of Venus, later this year.

Copyright © 2011

Touch: The Journal of Healing

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