The Paraplegic

By John F. McCullagh

I awakened to a horror in which I couldn’t feel my feet.
In traction, in a hospital room, I drifted in and out of sleep.
I’d retain some feeling in my hands, yes, my fingers moved.
So I’d be a paraplegic if my condition won’t improve.

I can’t recall the accident. Some call me fortunate.
Yes, I survived the crash; but I wouldn’t choose this fate.
For some weeks I was in a coma. The other driver’s dead.
Some days found me wishing that he was here instead.

They say I’ll never walk again. I’ll be sentenced to this chair.
I fight for my independence; the only remedy for despair.
I must cultivate new interests; I’ll no longer run and play.
Fate has cast long shadows upon the middle of my day.

You’ll find me in my garden now, when days are dry and fair.
I can still tend to my roses, even working from this chair.
They once were ornamental and seldom on my mind;
Now their careful cultivation is what gives meaning to my time.

They blossom in profusion in a riot of color here.
I have a little greenhouse and I work sheer magic there.
These petals, pink and delicate, are salve to my troubled mind.
They give me peace and an escape from all I left behind.

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