The Old End of the Barn
Turning over in bed, inching closer to the edge,
she swings her legs around to touch the floor
and rises slowly, not knowing which body part
will sound the alarm. Some days, she crumples
as the pain excruciates up and down
her left side from hip to knee.
She knows the more she moves,
the better she will feel.
Limping to the kitchen for coffee,
human again, the self of her memories,
of pleasure and assurance.
She wonders whether her mind's cabinets still have room
to file each day's thoughts and feelings.
She wills all the old files to the back of the drawer
and begins her day. This day
and the next and the next,
so much will be the same -
daily life more or less predictable,
determined by the ratio of pain in her body.
She laughs at the irony of its limitations
while random, limitless thoughts race into her mind.
Would she trade that bountiful energy
flowing to her brain for a dance with an old lover?
Like the broken down roof on the old end of the barn,
she waits for the first storm of the season for total collapse.
It's the dying, not death, she is afraid of.
She sips her coffee on her beloved sofa,
the one the cat shredded where she rests her arm.
The cat, the coffee, the sofa, the day ahead...
Almost 75! Definitely challenging times. I will continue to work and volunteer as it is vital to my health. As Marge Piercy wrote, "To Be Of Use."
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