Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Arthur’s Mighty Zen Pt 2

Part 2

A few days later I found out
It was Arthur
Who saved my foot,
Not the doctors.
Instead of cutting it off
Like they’d planned 
When they first saw
What a mess it was,
They changed their minds pronto when 
Arthur used his shall we say powers of persuasion
To convince them of the wisdom 
In doing otherwise!

“Or else, pal!” added Arthur threateningly
As he raised his mighty fist.

Boy! You should have heard Arthur 
Give the doctors a piece of his mind!
Said the boys who’d helped 
Get me to hospital that day.
Funny, but now they were proud 
Of the terrible gang boss they once feared.
Oh! The contradictions of life!
Anyway, they told me all about it.
“Arthur was never 
More magnificent!” they bragged.
“You should have heard him curse!
The bleedin sawbones wasn’t ready 
For a bleedin bastard like our Arthur!” they laughed.
“And within seconds they was 
Shifting their asses good and proper
To save you and your bleedin foot!”
Then, with a rare sense 
Of respect they added,
“That Arthur! He sure showed them!”

Arthur visited me in hospital 
Every week that summer.
One time I asked him why 
He was so tough 
On me in the beginning.
“The men had to see 
That I showed no favorites,” he answered,
Only with more curse words.
Then he looked directly at me 
From under his massive brows, and slowly smiled.
“And I wanted you to learn,” he added,
“To stand on your own two feet.”
Then he roared with laughter!
“Shhhh,” hissed the nurse
Who’d come running.
“Quiet! This is a hospital!”
“Shit!” answered Arthur, a little embarrassed. “Sorry.”
Like all healthy men, 
Arthur despised the hospital.
And I think he was a little
Intimidated by the nurse, too.
I know I was.
“Well, take it easy, mate,” he said. 
Then he left.

Next visit Arthur brought me books to read.
Which surprised me because
Before the accident 
Arthur used to make fun of me 
About my reading,
Calling me a bookworm 
And an egghead, etc,
Only with more cursing.
So I asked him why.
“I never finished grade school,” he said quietly.
“So I don’t read too good.”
He looked me in the eye and added,
“I was afraid you’d laugh.”

Oh! The similarities of life!
I’d feared him for his language.
He’d feared me for my learning.

He never mentioned saving my foot.
When I tried to thank him,
He told me with a laugh 
To shove it up my ass!
“Them dumb doctors!” he spat.
“They don’t know shit!”
Then to change the subject 
He cursed doctors ferociously
For about ten minutes,
Hardly stopping for breath.
I listened in awe.

He’s been dead a long time,
Arthur the gang boss.
Killed in an accident 
A few years later
When a Caterpillar D-9
Ran off its own tracks
And tumbled down an embankment.
Arthur was standing at the bottom
Of the embankment, 
Urinating against a bush.
They say he never knew what hit him.
But I wouldn’t know.
I’d already left by then
To begin my journey as an artist.

Sometimes I wonder where Arthur is now.
I hope he’s happy.
And not squashed too flat
By the bulldozer to enjoy the afterlife.
Because I owe him a lot.
A lot he wouldn’t want, probably.
And instead of sentimental horse shit 
Like saying you’re welcome,
He would probably suggest 
Most strongly that I shove it!

Way up where the sun don’t shine!

So from the year 2016,
Arthur, you son of a bitch,
Wherever you are, 
From the bottom of my heart
As I stand upon my own two feet,
One of which you 
Jumped into a shitty ditch
In order to save…
I thank you!
I love you.

You big son-of-a-bitch.

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