The Doctor’s Assistant1 min read
Grandma gave my first needle,
taught me to sew,
showed me how to knit threads together,
make something new,
nimble fingers silhouetting the divine.
It came in handy white-uniformed at the front,
dragging broken men from the mud, pulling
flaps of flesh together with thread, then sending back
the almost-dead to serve their country
as cannon fodder. Through thimble fingers I watched
my men being blown to bits
so I could hardly resist when you showed me your plan,
your maps and diagrams, electrical charges,
how to take scraps and rebuild a new man,
recycle old flesh and bone, reverse
the callous expense of war.
I gripped my needle, spun my thread,
no longer papering over cracks
but aiming two fingers at death itself.
When he opens his eyes I will teach him to sew,
help him rediscover the wondrous dexterity
of fingers and thumb,
see if he can stitch my flesh, too,
do for me what for him
I have already done.