What vexes you, L3?
(Or perhaps L2; you collude.)
Your mysterious mechanics grind;
your elegant architecture abrades.

Now you speak, now
declare age or injury
life or experience dissolving
what cohered so long ago
and early
in my mother’s womb.

You tiny tadpole,
you primitive curiosity:
Who could imagine
what you would become?

The notochord is the earliest beginning of
the bony vertebrae and
the remainder of the skeleton

the genesis of all my bones
unfurling,  an innocent
fist opening to the years ahead,

the twisting and bending,
the lifting and bearing
of weights tangible and not.

The days you stretched skyward.
The nights you curled again like a fetus.
The uncomplaining decades.

Now you are vulnerable.

What may I offer?
Ice? Heat? Ibuprofen?
Pain displaces presumption,
the fluid comfort
l took for granted.

You ache.

Therefore, I apply poetry
and consider enjambment, the
unexpected meaningful break
in a sentence or
a clause or
a life

saying, we go on differently now,
saying, this is the hot voice
of infrastructure crumbling,

saying, this is the song
of our later years,
our prehistoric perfection
slowly unbecoming.

Saying, sing.






  1. Pat: willow88switches · · Reply

    the genesis of all my bones
    unfurling, an innocent
    fist opening to the years ahead, ….

    From this point on, I just fell right into each word … I mean seriously … and I ask about the “collusion” too … and using words like “enjambment” and “infrastructure” etc. and trying to “soothe the beast” … well, – isn’t this just a right pickle?

    I sympathize and worse yet, empathize — I have “major issues” with “upper” cervical and now, lower – lumbar too … herniated and crushed … and this poem speaks with frustration, wonder, curiosity and a sense of semi-completion.

    This is “wonderful” poem – despite the pain and aggravations, but it is a perspective and way of managing, questions and perhaps, coping, to keep one’s sanity.

    I hope you feel much better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a lovely, lovely response — both to the writing and to me as a fellow sufferer. Thank you so much. As much as we dread such experiences, it seems some version of physical suffering comes to each of us if we live long enough — part of the body’s long goodbye (or semi-completion, as you aptly put it). I wish you resilience and grace amidst the pain; fortitude and forbearance. May many light and wondrous days yet be yours.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Pat: willow88switches · · Reply

        and I wish the same to you too Cate …. especially since, you too, have always been “busy active” in your life (I too) and this just seems like a “slow death” … LOL … and so we “fight” (I must learn to “battle” my bones and injuries in much gentler fashion) on, — perhaps the “key” is to take a cue from plants? they adapt far easier and better, and faster, whereas this is a snail’s slog learning curve 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We humans DO seem to be slow studies, don’t we? 🙂 Yet these physical difficulties are the other side of the happiness our bodies have given us, so I try to be friendly to these good old bones, however they feel in the moment. They are so magnificent — these bodies — and they make our lives possible; it seems only decent that we see them out as gently as we are able.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Pat: willow88switches · ·

          this is an absolutely beautiful and remarkable way of considering this whole process – and you’re quite right, the “injuries” and pain are (mostly, in my case) the flip side of what was, at the time, to my greatest pleasures; I think it’s just that I’m still grieving for all my losses, and haven’t full accepted it – I’m really rather young to be feeling this damn old (just about to scratch 50) and my spirit still longs for the ability, agility and freedom my body once offered me. So yes, this is hard for me … but I’m going to hold your most beautiful thought in my mind, and let it soak into my heart …. perhaps this is what I’ve been waiting to here, because in the 18+ years since the initial “set back” — no one has *ever* offered or expressed this kind of wisdom in understanding — so thank you – what a treasured find and gift. Blessings Cate – Namaste.

          Liked by 1 person

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