Guest Poem by Ursula Kelly

Ursula Kelly is Director of an independent consultancy specialising in economic and social impact analysis of higher education. Originally from Northern Ireland, she now lives in Spain and Scotland. She has returned to writing after a break of many years. This poem is from Acumen 108.

When I Can Make it to the Pub Again

It’s not so much the pain but
fear of pain, that makes me hesitate.
I am learning to bear my own weight again,
with crutches and a moonboot.
Every tiny step’s a giant leap of faith
that a rearticulated ankle will still hold,
the pins will not give way.

Moonboots sound magical. I’ve dreamed of dancing
in the County Feis, defying gravity with scissor kicks
and slip steps, treble shoes clattering on a wooden floor,
finding my feet in speed and fury.

But reality begs to differ, when every visit
to the bathroom must be choreographed.
I pace myself in steady clunks, relinquishing the safety
of the zimmer frame, then managing to make do
with just one crutch. Next up, a walking stick.
When I can make it to the pub again,
I’ll buy you all a drink.