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The Sillest Thing

Poetry in Paradise: December 15, 2019: The silliest thing I’ve ever done …….

The silliest thing I’ve ever done was just a month ago

It is the truth, I never lie, as you already know.

I was on a trip to Sydney town, a busy, bustling place.

I found it hard to be in the crowd with my little wheelie case.

I dragged it behind me along the street, dodging the frenzied throng,

In a shop I took the escalator – then everything went wrong!

The moving stairs were going up, my case on the step below.

Suddenly it rolled back down, dragging me in tow.

I banged against the nearby wall, bruising my left side

And getting my elbow badly cut. The stairs were not very wide.

I landed heavily on the case, feeling the wheels hit my back.

I managed to hit my head on the step and everything went black.

For a little while I travelled on, upside down in pain,

Luckily someone stopped the stairs; I sat up once again.

I pulled myself along on my rear, embarrassed and in pain,

To the outstretched hands of a total stranger. I thanked him again and again

As he helped me slowly to a seat and held tissues to my head

As blood was pouring from the cut. “Just relax,” he said.

An ambulance was quickly called and I didn’t have long to wait,

Surrounded by customers and staff. I was in a sorry state

But I thought it could have been much worse: I wasn’t knocked out cold,

I didn’t fall on anyone else and do more harm, I was told.

A couple of hours at the hospital, having many a test,

Restricted, encased in a tight neckbrace, I didn’t feel the best.

I was told to lie flat on my back but the egg-sized lump on my head

Made that extremely painful for me. I turned on my side instead.

“Don’t move, stay flat, we’re almost done. Blood pressure is very high!

Is it always as dangerously high as this – can you tell me why?”

“Well, really, you idiot” I wanted to say, “I’ve just fallen flat on my back

In a public place and cracked my head. Give me a bit of slack.

Of course it’s high, you moron you, I’ve had a terrible shock.

I’m glad at the time I was wearing jeans, not a revealing frock

As my legs went up and over my head. Not my best position.

Now just tell me the results of the tests and stop this inquisition.”

Of course I didn’t say any of that, he was doing his best.

Then he gave me the good results from my x-ray test:

“No bones broken at all,” he said. “Not even a little crack.”

I forgot to mention my injured elbow, legs and hips and back.

Later on I would discover I was completely black and blue

But in places no-one else would see. My ordeal was nearly through.

“Off you go,” said the cheerful doctor. “ It could have been much worse.

Just a tiny little graze.” And then he told the nurse

To escort me to the Reception desk where I could ring for a cab.

I walked as fast as I possibly could, feeling a sudden stab

Of pain in my back and head and neck, my hips and legs felt queer.

They had treated me well so far but no longer wanted me here.

They knew I was travelling on my own, many miles from home

But no-one bothered to ask how I felt and was I OK alone.

Never mind, it ended well, apart from the extra cost

Of taxi fares and a new suitcase. I felt a little lost

But nothing serious and time has healed the bruises and the cuts

And I have almost stopped considering the other ‘ifs and buts’

Like “What if the moving staircase was crowded with many people in line

And I injured some of those below as I fell back at the time?

What if my neck had been snapped and broken, with results too bad to say?”

I’m thankful I got away with a scratch, to live another day!


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