doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e31820ad437
Education: Mind to Mind

A Foot

Shafer, Audrey M.D.*
Section Editor(s): Cassella, Carol Wiley M.D.

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Intestines and their manila frill of fat
nestle cozily in a metal bowl
but a foot
can't be contained even by a tub;
jutting over the edge
the calf exposes its brutal ovoid slice
a foot
perhaps with purple gangrene
black-lipped ulcers
toes already missing
itches to hop off
a mutant bunny on the lam
a foot
could jerk its big toe to hitch a ride
or, impatient
stomp out of the operating room
anything to forget the fine crack of bone
from bone
but even if the foot flees the scene
the nonfoot remains
below the stump, below the wound
sealed by interrupted sutures
perfect blue knots teething a frozen smile
see, there it is
faux foot, doppelgänger foot,
ghost foot

© 2011 American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.

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