My hips, thighs, and especially calf muscles
become painful when I walk. It’s poor
blood circulation with several medical names,
thanks to my poor choices such as who
my paternal grandfather was, my dad,
and my long past smoking. But I walk anyway.
Almost every day. I like it. I’ve always
exercised. Completed a dozen marathons
after age 60, always been a bit of a gym rat.
Now I swim too. Doctors like it all better
than pills. I must endure such pain
in my battle to delay inevitable days.
They do their best. Me too. It’s okay.
I have countless privileges denied others.
Like life. I can and I must endure,
for as long as I can. I’ll keep mindful
of those less privileged who fight in fear
tougher battles than I’ll ever see.
Look both ways and see all around.
Smell, taste, touch, and hear everything.
Mind the gaps as you fill them with knowledge.
And “sing with me, sing for a year
Sing for the laughter, and sing the tear
Sing with me, if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow…” (Lyrics from Dream On by Aerosmith)
Work through it, he said,
more pain is good gain.
Can you go farther?
(implying the pain
I should endure)
To do more?
Through it, he said. I asked.
“I understand, Doc,
but do you?” Push
through — more pain—
limping, then numbness
pain, then physical collapse.
Then I sense some gain.
Then more. Must I now confess
at the end of the battle?
Doc, you were right.
Muscles are tight
and sore as hell,
with pain and cramps,
but improvement costs,
some weight’s been tossed.
Should I go on, and on?
Pain goes both ways, some is beneficial, some is a warning to stop.
I Listen to, and learn, my body. I mind the gaps to learn the differences.
Day was turning to dusk,
soon to be twilight,
and a lovely sight, one my
muse would give me clues
to a perfect poem, this
sight to be the meter
of my metaphor
for the twilight of humanity,
but it was not to be.
Going to the pool
to swim my hour, to do
aerobic huffing and
puffing, to get my
workout, after a day
putzing while working
around the house,
the garage mostly.
Sometimes, even as poets,
the best we can do is to say,
“Yes, I was there, I saw that,
and it was beautiful.”
Then I jumped
into the pool and swam.
‘twas a clear dark night
when I got out.
Apparently, my muse
can’t swim and retired
early that evening,
Leaving me even
as twilight comes and goes,
to be a verseless but happy
Swim both ways to lap away the twilight looks.
Mind the gaps as we seek piquing peeks.