This latest poem is a ‘fiction’, although ‘sparked’ by a fall I recently had myself. I shook it off, and while banged up and not quite ‘bouncing’ back up, I did arise and get back in the game immediately, so to speak. But it made me think. And then my mind went back to both my mother and father falling in the later years, and how one final one ended my mother’s days and nights with us. And then, of course, the commercial that’s been on TV forever. So this starts sad but ends hopefully. Probably an echo of our roller coaster times too. Stay vertical, ya’all. Watch your step.


It is another morning
and that’s a relief and a gift
in and of itself
as he turns
a little too quickly
and feels the ache
and one thing or another catching
he can’t tell exactly what
tendons   cartilage  muscles  reflexes   organs  bones   balance
all in decline               all capable of collapse
no matter what you do
He lets out a subdued grunt
and feels the world spinning
not like it should at all
maybe counter clockwise?
and starts to worry that this is it
that he will lose it
the equilibrium he takes for granted
his grip on it all
and yield to gravity and the hazards that are everywhere
to plummet like a rock
just like that
in the wink of an eye
he’s fallen and can’t get up
just like the lady cries out on television
with all the volume she can muster
reaching up to no one
and maybe it will all end like this
a nondescript mass on the floor
without a warning or a sign
without the explanation everyone will crave
without the farewells
just like that
all alone and starting to decompose
after a lifetime of special instants
of triumphs     of pleasures      of joy
of hard lessons learned and taught
an old human now
having cracked his fragile skull on the edge of the tub
or the night stand
consciousness dripping away
fate coming out of nowhere to make contact
and play rough
taking what it wants
and when.

Remembering how many years it had been
back when everything was limber and full of power
these concerns
would never even enter his head
all those days and years that he was invulnerable
when nothing could touch him
or jolt him with fear.

But then he steadies himself
and clears his head
shaking out the cobwebs
counting his blessings again
ignoring this temporary lapse of confidence
taking one solid step
and then another         on and on
through the latest, most precious day.


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