Everything I need is upstairs
when I’m downstairs. A full flight
of stairs is exactly what happened
when I was rushing off to work,
arms full, pocketbook that seemed
lined with bricks, tote bag brimming
with essentials, and I’m late for work.
As if the steps are made of ice, I fly,
arms flapping, bags dropping, feet
pirouetting out-of-balance and I crash
land on the side of the stairs. How I got
there, I’ll never know. Our inquisitive dog,
Snapple, standing over me, asking
“What are you doing on my floor, Mommy?”
I don’t know sweetie but it’s not good.
I sat on the stairs for a little while
before getting up, limping a little,
and going to work. Not good.
A few hours later, I’m at urgent care
shaking my head in disbelief. I broke
my knee. It’s the day before Halloween
and I’m hosting a poetry costume party
the next day. My costume: a bride
and with my bruised knee and swollen ankle,
I could be Frankenstein’s mate. X-rays say
stay off it but it’s poetry, I’m the host,
and I can’t. Cocktail length skirt shows
my brace but that’s ok. My husband knows
when it comes to poetry, it’s useless to protest.
Later, at home, not good. I am miserable.
Every blasted thing I need is upstairs
because I am trapped downstairs. I try
to improvise, use calendar boxes as
a haiku journal, but the pen leaks blotches.
Paul had to run some errands so it’s me
and Snapple. I finally find the courage to crawl
backwards up the stairs. It took an eternity
to figure out how to get off the floor in the hall
but I did it; Snapple helped. Bliss. Upstairs,
my pillow, my bed, pens and journals, it’s good
until Snapple has to go out. Urgent.
Useless to cajole Snapple, I ride the stairs down
like a playground slide, collide with the front door
just as Paul opens it. Not good. Now, I’m strapped
in the recliner, stacks of pens and paper beside me,
my pillow under my head, Snapple sleeping
next to the chair guarding my every move,
and no way I’m going upstairs for a long long time
and, I confess, that’s good.
~ J R Turek
June 27, 2020
3 thoughts on “Upstairs”
You manage to turn a broken knee into a comical story. My dad- stuck downstairs for a year now from a hip injury – would totally get this. Nice work.
Could you look at mine too? Thanks in advance.
Thank you! : } Hope your dad is improving!
I’d be happy to look at yours. What name do you use? Nothing comes up under Sandra Johnson.