Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 48 inches, 2009
This eight-year-old Afghan girl was severely wounded in a Taliban attack on her family home. It looked like she might lose her right leg. Captain Bruce Reeves, head ward nurse, suggested that they try a skin graft from the girl's healthy leg. For three weeks her legs were bound together at the ankles and the procecure worked. I witnessed this girl walk out of the hospital.
If you are thinking religiously
by Moya Pacey, 2014
School of Music poet, Canberra, Australia
in response to Recovery
It’s as if a page from scripture comes to life
one that speaks of miracle.
The canvas is daubed in what can only be divine light.
Something blessèd about the way the artist
catches the trio and how she makes us witness
the moment when the girl in pink pyjamas
takes her first step in the field hospital in Kandahar.
The medic in khaki with an anxious bearded face
looks biblical and the woman who bends
her blonde head close and maternal
wears what can only be described as madonna blue.
The girl raises her small booted right foot
ready to step out of the painting.
They are joined in this blessèd moment.
She is their girl in pink pyjamas.
The medic, a mother in madonna blue,
bends her blonde head, whispers
words of loving encouragement.
The girl clutches at father’s khakied waist
steadies her newly-mended self
takes her first step …