© Kym Eitel

Winner, 2008 ‘Bronze Spur Award’, Camooweal Queensland.

Here I sit with husband, Laurie,
“For the millionth time, I’m sorry!”
as we’re waiting in the crowded x-ray ward.
See, we had a little “mix-up”
now he needs a bit of fix-up
and he blames me, but I still blame the cord.

His eye is bruised and swellin’
‘cos he hit it as he fell an’,
yes, it’s my fault that he’s injured here today.
He says his nose is broken
but we haven’t really spoken
since the ambo’s came and carried him away.

He was shouting in the kitchen
and I saw him jerkin’, twitchin’,
well, I thought his odd behaviour quite bizarre.
With distressed enthusiasm
he was gripped by each cruel spasm
wailing, “ooh-ee-ooh-nah-nah yeah-ooh-ahh-ahh”.

Oh, the pain! His face contorted,
and his mouth was all distorted.
He shuddered like a crazy man possessed.
Some wild, exotic tribal curse
had torn him from this universe
and forced him on a strange, spasmodic quest.

He did pelvical gyrating
like a frantic monkey mating
as he shuffled back and forth across the floor.
Like a spastic, psycho chicken
arms and shoulders kept on flickin’.
I’d never seen him act this way before.

His temple holes were pulsing,
he was twitching and convulsing
as he jerked from fridge to sink, then past the drawers.
He leapt like he’d touched fire,
as he spun – I saw the wire –
ah ha, electrocution was the cause!

No time for feeling sickly.
I knew I must act quickly.
We mustn’t touch, or I’d get zapped like that!
I thanked those ambo classes
as I straightened up my glasses
then whacked him with a wooden cricket bat.

Laurie cleared the kitchen table
with that voltage-bearing cable
still gripping tight to both his head and hip.
His cartwheel was dramatic
and his handstand, acrobatic,
then he flopped across the sink and split his lip.

He scored a lovely shiner
and some other things quite minor –
he snapped two ribs, we think he broke his thumb,
his tooth was cracked and hurting,
from his toenail blood was spurting
and the bat had left an imprint on his bum.

The ambo’s rescued Laurie.
“For the millionth time, I’m sorry!”
We’re still waiting in the crowded x-ray ward.
It wasn’t electricity
that caused him all that pain, you see …
that “cable” was his stupid i-pod cord.

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