Going Out on a Limb
On April 3, 2017

I am having ankle surgery today, the latest in a sequence of operations on the ankle that I damaged nearly twenty five years ago in a very unlucky climbing accident. This particular poem was written while I was an active member of East Street Poets, a group based in Blandford Forum, Dorset. Needless to say, I had just had yet another operation and found myself performing this piece on crutches at a poetry festival. What larks!

we went for it
ripped off our seat belts
threw away the helmets
untied the safety rope
and hurled ourselves into the void
now I’m involved in a relationship
– with my foot
this one here, at the end of my leg,
the one on the left
It (the relationship)
is deeply personal
my foot and I have always been attached
we have always been close
it has to be said
at times my foot does tend
to depend
– on me (or should that be…)
It (the relationship)
is largely platonic
though intimate
as only relationships with feet
can be
It (the foot)
has its faults of course
it can be a little masculine
somewhat down to earth
But it’s a great dancer
fair skips about
when the music’s right
And it (my foot)
looks great
stepping out
in a favourite
party sock
when the occasion demands
We (my foot and I)
walked out
the other day
We hopped along the embankment
to the bus stop
telling our respective life histories
on the way
But it (the relationship)
is bound to fail
even as we get to know each other
I’m still not sure
if it’s the right foot
for me
© David Hermelin 2017

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