Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday Prompt: Ellen Hawkins: Frame


Freefall: the frame catching the images as they tumble down the screen.
I like frames, the way they define an event, draw attention to its essence. A picture without a frame is the whole lens-full: a manuscript, not a poem. A good frame may hold a conversation with its subject.
“I feel a bit nervous, being exposed like this.”
“Stay cool. I’ve got you.”
So I wrote on Wednesday.
But Friday’s frame-in-the-making was brash and rang like hammer on steel when a gastric bug approached. I’d like to think it knocked before entering but I only heard a moan in the night. During the prelude, I wrote emails and sorted papers; welcomed a friend for a visit. Then wham, awash in sweat, I excused myself and reeled to the loo where I up-chucked the wee bugger and its army of invading bacteria. I retired to my office wrapped in illness and malaise. Then, wham, two hours later, I upchucked another battalion. 
At the hospital, where they wired me for IV fluids and drugs, my world was framed in bedside rails, white uniforms and glaring overhead lights. They applauded my exit, in a wheelchair, and hoped not to see me again.
Wham! With the fury of a secondary squall, another wing of the invaders struck the next morning: diarrhea and its attendant ills. They said little but spoke in loud voices. My whimpering gut and I cuddled in the aftermath of the storm. Our day was now framed in gurgling waves, grey sky and a tiny worry. Would this end?
Lethargy softened this morning’s frame. Hunger, its captive, distorted the words on my computer screen. I listened to a conversation.
“If you eat,” said the brain to the gut, “you may upchuck again.”
“If you don’t eat,” said the gut, “I’ll bring you crashing to the floor.”
So I ate, and drank. Nothing happened.
I may be on the mend. I may have had food poisoning, not a bowel obstruction. I picture my gut in an ultrasound. It is framed in rainbow colours, silent and smiling.

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