Executing a perfect layout in a game of Ultimate
and landing on his shoulder, he heard more than
felt the bone snap like a chicken leg in a dog’s mouth,
and the teammate that grabbed his hand and pulled
him to his feet was shocked by the changing colors
in his face as his knees gave way and sat him down.
At the Emergency Room the nurse failed to ask or
notice his level of pain and walked him the length
of a merciless long corridor to radiation where the
x-ray technician reduced him to lip-bitten tears.
No break is simple, despite the diagnosis as bones
though hard are living tissue and not impervious
to injury, and even with their ability to mend, it is
the process that keeps the afflicted suffering while
the raw ends with marrow exposed begin knitting
together again, producing a net of fibroblasts that
spans the divide like a bridge under construction,
mortar and steel inching from solid ground to the
center of air with an engineers confidence that the
two will meet and the weld will hold.
It’s the reaching, the intuiting by one jagged end of
the other and cell by cell, recreating a whole from
pieces that causes every breath to catch like ours does
in the effort to align what we have sundered through
the years of leaps and layouts made with full knowledge
of gravity’s pull. I’ve held my breath against the hurt
as long as I can, but regardless of how far the healing
has progressed, I can’t not inhale.
© Dana Hughes 3.22.18