She whispered in my ear, my muse
“I have frozen time
Stopped it in its tracks
After hearing you complain
About being its permanent slave”.
A high-impact injury
Loss of balance, suddenly everything a blur
Rooted to the spot, unable to move
In excruciating pain
Collapsing in a heap
By the front door.
The nightmare of dialling 111
Endless interrogation, intrusive questions
Clinician’s voice comforting, following a script;
But badly numbed with fear and shock,
I am unable to grasp or make sense.
Ambulance summoned, arrives 12 hours later
Lifted from stretcher to stretcher,
Moved at will, from X-ray room to CT scan.
Right side throbbing; hip damaged,
A hairline fracture diagnosed
The Filipino nurse Peter, kindness personified
Gentle, caring and empathetic
An instant ally in my hour of need.
Handlebars, grabbers and walking frame
My new daily companions, keeping me safe
Sleepless nights, plied with opioids and laxatives
A legacy of a mishap in the autumn sun.
A slow recovery under way,
The muse’s words a baleful refrain
Watching the world go by outside
Me a bystander, an injured spectator.
Life lived in slow motion,
At a snail’s pace, abstract and frozen
Me silent, anonymous and entirely passive.
At the usual hour, the slaves to time pass by,
Scurrying, always in a hurry.
Time becomes an irrelevance
It neither matters nor wields any influence
A prisoner at home, a strict routine
The present monotonous, the future uncertain,
You can stop the clocks, freeze and suspend time.
At dawn’s break, the omnipresent nemesis,
The reality of pain increases manifold.
Unrelenting, a malevolent witch’s curse,
Wraps me in a tight embrace
Inert and helpless, I struggle to rise.