After the finger de-gloving…
the kerbside trailer accident, and surgery…
the Centralian Aboriginal boys
clamboured me around, asking
“Hey mister! Where’s your finger?’
And glib answers, such as:
‘Gone!’ or ‘Ripped Off!’
were by no means any satisfaction
for what they needed know.
And I realized that Our Mind, gripped by
the Hard-Replying Fact of the hospital incinerator
was going to horrify them as much as any after Hitler
tale of tattoed digits at Auschwitz...
Sounding, to Indigenous ears - which value each
bit of being as if Soul is in the digit of every detail -
[Even while living lives self-destructing off the emptiness
of a lost bodily integrity] as sacrilegious somehow…
too much less than sacred in this very real Matter
needing proper grief.
So, I took a step on a mutual foot-road of comprehension
And said: ‘My finger’s gone to God…..
And it’s waiting out there in heaven for
The rest of me to catch up …One Day.’
Satisfied as camp puppies with a pat –
the Aboriginal lads were Convinced.
As if this one I could tell them was the only true story
of me as I am – of things as they are - a story that laid my hard-questing
late finger to its early sublime rest.
But, my fellow worker, who also came with
a disability - in words that came out Amputated
just in the passage of being born –
said: “ Just watch out that God doesn’t
Take the rest of you b-b-bit by b-b-bit.”
But then, of course, after this Laughter …
The Pain …(again!)…
and like a good orchardist pruning
the worth-while trees, he does.
He does. …
and each nail
of wounds keeps us
Smarting in that direction.
Wayne David Knoll
22 August 2008