ONE LEGED ANNE AND THE KID | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Poem - Children Bookmark and Share


I am a viewer of the sea,
said Anne,
I watch it rise
and fall
from my wheelchair throne,
the Skinny Kid's
beside me,
sitting on the sand,
I am not alone.

I hear the seagulls call,
watch their swooping
high and low,
their black
and white and grey.

The breeze is about
my dark haired head,
fills my lungs,
takes away my breath,
I feel like one
who dies a hundred times
their death.

The Skinny Kid
sits in silence,
his fingers play
with sand,
his brown hair
flips and flops
in the wind's path,
he ignores the gulls call,
that artful laugh.

I feel the pain
in my amputated leg,
above the knee
my aching stump,
my toes are gone,
but I sense them still,
I wiggle
the phantom toes
as children do.

The Kid beside me
is my one companion,
he alone amongst
the children
of the nursing home,
I trust and like,
he alone,
stays by my side,
my faithful hound,
my beloved boy,
brings me flowers,
gives me joy.

I sit and smell
the sea salt,
the drowned call
on the wind
from a thousand deaths,
shipwrecked sailors,
swimmers who failed,
suicides who succeeded,
the bones picked clean.

I recall the Kid
when he first saw
my stump,
I lifted my skirt
for him to see,
his eyes popped large,
his mouth open
like a landed fish.

He touched it
with his fingers
in disbelief,
smoothly, softly,
as if new born.

Kiss it! Kiss it!
I said,
but he stepped back,
eyes wide,
hands to his mouth.

I laughed until I
nigh wet myself;
he laughed, too,
touching again
the rounded stump,
fingers gentle,
lowering his lips
he kissed,
as if a baby's head
was met,
he left it warm,
he left it wet.

The ten year old Kid
sits gazing at the sea,
his hands on his forehead,
as seaman view,
thinking himself,
no doubt,
on some pirate ship,
telescope to eye,
looking for land,
or other ships to raid
and pillage
and gold coins hold.

He helped me bath
the other night,
aided me in the bath
(the nuns not knowing),
his arm lowering
me down and in.

He studied my stump
as it floated there,
my flowering breasts,
my pubic hair.

Here, scrub my back,
I whispered,
(not wanting nuns
to hear)
and so he did,
sponge with soap,
he set to task,
rubbing my back
with gentle motion,
under my arms,
he moved,
over my neck.

I'll do the rest,
I said,
he knelt by the bath
in silent stare,
as I washed
and scrubbed
in slow seduction,
his eyes watching
my every move,
his mouth ajar,
his white teeth resting
the little pink tongue.

The wind is getting strong,
the clouds grow dark,
we must return
to the nursing home,
our pleasure done,
our sea seen,
our thoughtful fun.

The Kid stands
and prepares to push,
he leans to my neck
and whispers his words,
promises to keep,
promises made,
off of the beach
we go,
away from the sea
and gulls
and incoming tide,
me sitting,
watching ,
enjoying the ride,
he pushing
with all his might,
his legs heave
across the sand,
his feet dig deep,
back we go,
our pilgrimage made,
the sea seen,
the sea salt
in our hair
and noses
and in our hearts;
the gulls cry
in our ears
and minds;
the sun is
going down,
as are we,
it no longer blinds.

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