Two Falls

I asked the Doctor
to clean out my ears
with his steel syringe

The sensation was bizarre:
a rush of blood to the head
like the sea breaching a dike

At last, success!
A mighty plug of wax expelled
The inner ear controls your balance, though

As I came out into the light
I put my sole down hard
where there was nothing

except the edge
of a concrete path
The pain was sudden & excruciating

It hurt so much
that my body anaesthetised itself
but I knew when the bruises

started to form
like a layer of ash between
two strata of muscle

I’d really feel it

Yesterday my father stepped back
from raising the flag on his front stoop
into thin air

He fell on his back
on the concrete path
& couldn’t get up

None of his strategies worked:
rolling to one side
clutching at the stone wall

for leverage
calling for help
There was no-one there to hear

At last a neighbour came out
& helped him up
They managed to clear enough space

in the books & magazines
& papers on his bed
for him to lie down

He’s back on his feet this morning, though

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