transplant: a little detour from life



When you’re thrown back into life,

you’re thrown from a moving train.

That first thump and roll; the aches and bruises that follow

untether you from your carriage.


Going from an empty husk of a woman – all lily-white like a hollowed out cockleshell –

empty but for the roar when you nurse it against your ear –

that was me.

My tender armour covered a pod of barely working organs

where there was a flicker of movement in the rattle of wet lungs and a clogged throat.


I would see things from my bed because I couldn’t walk anymore –

muscles melted into pockets of goo.

I’d bend my head to see the leaning moon,

so still on its haunches – lazy, laconic and deathly still.


I had always shunned the sun and walked to the moon.

Silently I would call it; aching for it to speak with me or move just a little,


but there it sat like a mute friend – giving me the answers I needed –

a silent partner to ricochet off my rattling chest and bag of bones

where I’d reach into sapphire skies and pray for Bedouin.


tied up on the wrong end of the dream, dripping time like Dali’s clock


My chest cut open and sewn back together like a clam – a cautious cut.

Hurled back into life – that rattle now silenced and replaced

by the pulse of machines breathing for still bleeding lungs,

taken from another who was now dead,

and lowered into me like the hull of a virgin ship into water.

A rekindling; the universe wanted to keep me.


In the daytime, I would wake up

with eyes like a hunted here,

knowing I was alive because I could feel

that hose in my mouth and its slink down my throat.

But more, I felt the fire beginning to burn on my chest.

I’m at the coal face of my body,

wondering how I came to be here – alive and hurting –

all dry lipped surrender.


Mad as a circus cat,

it was an exercise in patience until the next time I woke up –

snapping and grabbing at the tube

until a milk filled syringe was emptied into my neck and I knew the fight was over.


When the tube was pulled, my cough was a projectile.

A triumvirate of doctors, gathered in the corner like vultures,

laughing about some dialectical shit.

My first words – ‘get the fuck out of here!’

I was crying and trying to shout with my wretched vocal cords.

They moved to the desk and I shouted ‘you disrespectful cunts!’

I never saw those doctors again and that was probably best – for them.


This was the first time I’d been thrown.

Thrown onto an operating table, flung into recovery,

sucked back into the furnace of theatre and ferried out again.

Funnelled into a solitary pod, the hose wrenched from my raw throat

and then I – throwing doctors out on their asses.


I was back.


5 thoughts on “transplant: a little detour from life

  1. I feel like weeping and cheering all at once, it’s the power your words so often inspire inside of me. I needed to reconnect with the magic and power of words and yours, oh yours are the best cure for a distanced soul and a craving mind.
    You are such an amazing human and a strength in your words magnifies just how strong you are in your life also … I bow down to you my dear.
    Much love and squishy hugs


  2. Ah, lovely … you just made my day. I’m so glad you’re feeling a little more connected 🙂 No need to bow – you can give me a snog when we see each other in the new year! xoxo


  3. You’re an inspiration Carly. Your strength shines through in your beautiful words. I would have loved to have seen the look on the doctors faces. All the very best for the New Year xxoo


  4. Thanks Leeann, you saucy minx 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the poem, but I have to say it’s a first draft and needs a fair bit of work. I remember those doctors limping out my ICU pod. I also remember asking them what was so funny? Sons of bitches! (yep – called them that, too). I hope 2012 is brilliant and that your New Year goes off! xoxo


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