Today's poem is by Peter Pereira

Nursemaid's Elbow

Named not for the mother, frazzled and rushed,
nor for the toddler who knows just when to flop.

Not for the swinging up from her tantrum,
nor for how swiftly it happens, the soft

chicken-wing pop. Not for the child
silent in ER, unable to lift

her left arm, nor for the X-ray showing
her radius slipped from its usual spot.

Not for the doctor cupping her elbow,
turning her palm back and up. Not for his thumb

finessing the ligament, nor for how
soon she's playing again with her dolls. But

for this: stern servant, hired helpstress, easy
scapegoat — the one who was not even there.

Copyright © 2007 Peter Pereira All rights reserved
from What's Written on the Body
Copper Canyon Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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