Friday, January 8, 2010

I just could not tell

I Could Not Tell

by Sharon Olds

I could not tell I had jumped off that bus,
that bus in motion, with my child in my arms,
because I did not know it. I believed my own story:
I had fallen, or the bus had started up
when I had one foot in the air.

I would not remember the tightening of my jaw,
the irk that I’d missed my stop, the step out
into the air, the clear child
gazing about her in the air as I plunged
to one knee on the street, scraped it, twisted it,
the bus skidding to a stop, the driver
jumping out, my daughter laughing
Do it again.

I have never done it
again, I have been very careful.
I have kept an eye on that nice young mother
who lightly leapt
off the moving vehicle
onto the stopped street, her life
in her hands, her life’s life in her hands.

Ever been unsure if you tripped or stumbled or just how you ended up splayed on the ground?
Ever have a child run over and say "Do that again - it was funny!", while the adults around you try not to stare at you, collapsed on the ground?
And what if your child were in your arms, as Sharon Olds describes?

I tripped Wednesday evening. No child in my arms, but a young girl did come over to ask the silly question. And the adults stared.

I'm pretty sure I tripped, but maybe I stumbled on my own feet. I could not tell.  And I get to wear a hard cast for the next 7 weeks. I will never do it again. I will be very careful. Me and Sharon Olds. 

I always liked her poetry. Now I know why.


Carol said...

OMGosh, I relate to this, Brenda. I did trip and was so embarrassed, three people rushed to me to ask if I was okay. Thankfully I did not have a child in my arms, or my camera. I wasn't broken, but badly shaken. Sorry you get to wear a cast :(

altadenahiker said...

Ask me anything you want to know! I broke my leg a couple of years ago, had a cast from toe to hip, and for six weeks learned how to do everything brand new, and it's a skill I may never use again.

I could walk uphill on crutches (hard at first!). I learned to shop with a backpack. I could drive (because it was the left leg). I mastered the stairs. Document this! Washing is a bitch. We'll have fun, just because it is temporary.

Hug from me.

Dog Trot Farm said...

Yup can relate, however, I was not injured. New York City, Fifth Ave. St. Patrick's Day Parade. Tripped, went down, jumped back up before being trampled! Torn pant, bloody knee. Have not been back since. Feel better soon.

BANJO52 said...

You'll have to re-name your blog Wounded Warriors Anon.

I'm rushing, but do want to get in a "feel better." Also want to get a better look at the poem in a day or two.

I'm not clear on the injury--arm? Can you type? Take photos? Leg?

Be good to yourself.

clairz said...

I used to dream about leaving my baby on a bus when I was a new mother--funny, because I never rode buses. Loved the poem. But, wait, I meant to say first of all I'm sorry you got hurt! Heal well.

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

OH no a cast for 7 weeks. That will not be fun... We are sure it will go very fast for you... Keep your chin up..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Brenda's Arizona said...

Wow, a dream of leaving on the bus? That would feel awful.
I busted my palm. Imagine a karate job gone terribly wrong. 4 more days till MAYBE the swelling goes down enough for the correct cast.

Thank you all! I plan to keep posting, if photos of dogs are acceptable. Lots of reading ahead, I hope...