29 Days of Blogging: be a poetic supporter

I thought a fun challenge for February would be to write something for the blog every day. This is significantly more ambitious than my January challenge–no drinking for a month–but in the spirit of continued self-improvement, I begin.

I am faculty advisor for a new student club, the Poets’ Society, which had its first meeting tonight. I do not myself write poetry, but as they (should have) said in Grease, “If you can’t be a poet, be a poetic supporter.” Young people who love poetry must be treasured and encouraged. They are an endangered species. To add numbers to their first meeting, I participated in their first writing exercise: fifteen minutes to write a poem about yourself, which we then traded and read aloud. Let’s call mine a prose poem, which I present for your edification:

Three scars. One on my chin. I was two and, reportedly, insistent on zipping up my windbreaker myself. One overly exuberant motion later and I was whisked to the emergency room to get six stitches. One on my left knee. I was eleven and Rollerblading around the block with Apollo, a border collie/hog mix, when he saw a squirrel. Gravel in my skin and blood weeping down the front of my leg, I Rollerbladed all the way home. One on my left foot. A shard of glass from a broken lightbulb, acquired last fall. I had just watched a documentary on antibiotic-resistant bacteria and couldn’t stop picturing the tiny tubules colonizing my wound, like lichen on tree roots. I put on a band-aid and a shoe and went to a meeting, and bled through by the time the meeting was over. I did not go to the hospital.

In the documentary a man went to India and got hit by a train or lorry of some sort. He was rushed to a hospital, where he fell in and out of fever. They held him down, screaming, as a doctor cut his leg off. But they could not stop the infection. He was airlifted back to Seattle, and doctors worked around the clock to save his life as drug after drug failed. He survived, but they warned: even now, the drug-resistant microbes could still be in his body, lurking, waiting for the right time.

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