WITH THE HUMP 1959 | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Poem - Children Bookmark and Share


Anne wheeled herself out
of the nursing home,
and out onto the lawn,
almost knocking Cam
(a young boy) over
in her path,
she was followed
by Sister Paul in flight,
her black habit flapping
as she walked.

Anne stopped wheeling
at a white table,
and turned
to face the nun.

The nun approached
out of breath,
you must let the doctor
see your leg,
the nun said.

Not if the Kid isn't there,
Anne said.

The doctor doesn't think
it ethical,
the nun said.

No Kid, no looking
at my amputated leg stump,
so it's up him,
Anne said.

He needs to see
how it is healing,
the nun said,
standing over Anne,
hands inside her
black and white habit,
and you ought not
have shown your leg
to Benedict,
it isn't ethical
to do so.

He was interested,
so I showed him,
Anne said,
and he helped me
get in the bath and out,
and he's my best friend,
and bugger ethical.

Sister Paul winced
at the lewd word,
and tried to push it away
from her mind.

He's a 10 year old boy,
the nun said.

I'm a11 year old girl,
so what?
Anne said.

The nun closed
her eyes momentarily.

Anne looked past the nun
towards the nursing home,
and hoped Benny
would come out,
and see what
was going on.

The doctor will not
allow Benedict to be there;
he said it would
not be ethical,
the nun said slowly.

No Benny, no gawking
at my stump then,
Anne said firmly,
what, you going to get
the sisters to hold me down
while that medical clown
touches my amputated leg?

The nun gazed at her,
and sighed,
why do you need
Benedict there?

Because he's my friend,
and I feel safer
if he is there,
Anne said,
anyway he'll only
be seeing my leg stump,
nothing between my legs,
Anne said,
eyeing the nun
for her response.

Anne that is being
crude and rude,
Sister Paul said.

Anne turned around,
and gazed down
towards the avenue of trees
at the end of the garden.

No Kid, no quack
seeing my stump.

The nun walked away,
visibly with the hump.

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