Months after a serious accident, despite doing all the prescribed exercises, my right shoulder was getting worse. Simple movements caused sharp pain. Physios continued to hold out the hope of healing for this ‘small’ tear of my rotator cuff. I doubted that it would repair and said I wanted surgery. The path seemed to be blocked.
What I had waited so many months for became imminent at the second appointment with the surgeon. An MRI showed that the rotator cuff damage was much more serious than expected, and so he brought the date of surgery forward by two months. As I passed back through the spacious reception area, its white walls with their innocuous paintings suddenly became huge shadow boards of clamps, hammers, saws and numerous surgical instruments – like the ‘Cut Outs’ series by the New Zealand artist Richard Killeen.
What was I afraid of? Fear of surgery, of it all going wrong? If I were to write a poem about fear, what verbs, metaphors and myths would I use? Could I use synaesthesia and mix the senses up? If so, what was the smell of fear, what was its taste? Metallic? [Read more…]