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This Blame Thing's Got To Go

Excerpt from "Speak of the Ghost: In The Name of Emotion Literacy"
by Pamela Sackett (

If a person accidentally shoots off my foot
wouldn't it be reasonable for the doctor to ask
"how did this happen?"

should I say,
"it just happened."

or should I say,
"if I didn't have a foot this never would have happened."

or should I say,
"how did what happen?"

or should I say,
"it wasn't their fault the gun went off."

"OUCH!"should I say ouch?
may I say, "OUCH!"?
and pray this never happens again

could I rest with the prayer
or rest after I tell the doctor how and where
this atrocity happened?

and might I have a strong urge to get the gun away from the gun shooter so that my other foot can feel safe?
what if everybody, accidentally, is shooting off feet all over the place
and losing a foot is a common daily occurrence

and what if shutting up about it is encouraged and the way to be
thought of as a noble, respectful and courageous soul?

I'd be hard-pressed to convince anybody to say
it hurts to have your foot shot off
but it does hurt and pain's a curious thing
especially if you are awake to it
feelers of pain want to know
where did it come from and how to get it to go away for good

would you tell a footless person that she should be quiet about her pain
and that to identify the source of it is to, well, god-forbid, to blame
and "blaming is not right"
so she must "forgive with all your might"?

but I am in pain and I want it to end
and I would like to use my might for myself
to prevent it from happening again

how might I do this in a world of sleeping-ankled, foot blamers
in a world of gun preferrers and trigger-happy anger tamers?

how might I do this in a world where mute one-footed people are taken for granted
because two-footed people are so rare?
and most everybody has forgotten that two feet are even possible
and to keep more than one is highly improbable
so losing one is nothing to bear
and therefore nothing to guard
but it is natural to be self-protective

in a jungle the lion roars
in the city of one-footed strangers
we smile and quietly lock our doors


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