Earthed

When I first got home from the hospital,
I kept lifting my t-shirt to have a closer look.

With a hypochondriac’s flair for projection,
I convinced myself that this gadget –
White, translucent,
Resting against my middle-aged, sagging skin,
Like a prematurely born computer mouse –
Already had a worried look about it.

But I grew fond of it over time.
Day and night, it listened dutifully to my heartbeat.
When I felt faint or dizzy, I pressed a button
And it ‘beeped’ reassuringly at me,
As if opening one, sleepy eye to say,
‘It’s ok. I’ve got you.’

One morning I caught sight of myself in the mirror,
And the wires reminded me of those half-finished buildings,
Where the electrics hang from ceilings.
It didn’t take much of a leap to go from there,
To the tired surgeon, post-op,
Pushing my innards back inside.

‘I am earthed.’ – I joked to my friend – ‘like a plug!
Or a clock tower.’
Waiting for a lightning bolt to strike.
‘And these are the wires that one day might save me.’

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