Thursday, September 24, 2009
- Matthew Schwartz
My crutches felt heavier than I was.
They landed with a thick thud on the blacktop
each time I took a step. I had to watch how I walked
so I didn’t fall, like the other kids expected.
I liked to leave my crutches half-buried
behind the sandbox, where I couldn’t see them,
and creep up the uneven monkey bars
arced like the upper half of a globe.
I wanted to see the whole playground.
The rungs crowded too close together,
and none of them was shaped the same.
I lifted my feet slowly to keep my braces quiet
against the metal. At the top, I could still hear
the jump rope flying, my friend throwing
handfuls of sand. I slipped. I locked my arms
tighter around whatever bars I could reach, and my leg
tensed and shook and hit the rung too close to me
when I tried going down, and my foot shot
through the gap, and dangled there.
I thought I could maybe slide out.
I thought my body could fit like my foot did,
but I was stuck. Everyone could see me,
everyone could hear me asking myself
What do I do with my body if it’s
not a secret?