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Nov 2014
Anne rubbed the stump
of her amputated leg.

She sat in her wheelchair.

I sat opposite
wondering what
it must be like
to have one leg.

Pull your skirt down,
the nursing nun said,
it's indecent
to show off
your leg like that.

Anne stared at the nun.

My leg hurts,
she said,
rubbing it,
helps it.

Where does it hurt?
the nun asked.

even the toes hurt,
Anne said grumpily.

The leg
has been amputated,
so how can it hurt?
the nun said,
now pull the skirt
over the stump,
Benedict doesn't
want to see
your stump.

I didn't mind,
but I said nothing;
I looked at the nun's
black habit,
her thin features,
her pointed nose,
thin lips.

Anne pulled the skirt
over her stump slowly.

It's my stump,
I should be able
to show it
to whom ever I want,
anyway, Benny likes
gawking at my stump,
he does it
all the **** time.

The nun gazed
at Anne in silence;
then at me.

Your manners
need to be brought
into line, young lady,
if you
were at my old school,
you would learn manners
or else.

Anne sat back
in her wheelchair.

But I’m not
at your old school,
I’m in a nursing home
after the butcher’s job
the doctors did
on my leg,
she said.

The nun's features stiffened.

I looked at Anne
and her tilted head
and the hidden stump.

There are many
complaints about you,
the nun said,
from other children
and the other
sister nuns;
we will report you
to the nursing home
the nun said.

Anne said nothing,
but looked
at the swings
where other children

I sat looking
at the nun,
her hands hidden
in the pockets
of her habit.

She walked off stiffly
across the green grass.

How about her,
Kid, huh?  

I gazed
at the walking off nun.

Guess she was
a bit annoyed,  
I said.

So what, Kid,
who gives a cat's ***
what they think or say?

I shrugged.

Push me to the beach,
she said,
get me away
from these penguins, Kid,
off to the sea.

So I pushed
the wheelchair down
the avenue of trees,
anything for Anne,
anything to please.
Terry Collett
Written by
Terry Collett  Sussex, England
(Sussex, England)   
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