for Lee Petsonk
My friend Lee says I am in new territory.
My back hurts, my legs, there is metal
throughout my body, a shooting pain
down my left buttock. Yes, I say, it’s
new territory. Every day, I cross things
I loved from my list: racketball, tennis,
skiing, my bright future in golf. Soon,
no doubt, they will be followed by sex
and kundalini yoga. Cheesecake and lasagna
are surely just around the corner. But
this is the way of all explorers: Even Lewis
and Clark had their beloved dog stolen
by natives as they entered the Bitterroots.
Now, there are still invigorating swims
in the lake, chickadees gathered at the feeder
to voice their manic little complaints. Pity,
especially for ourselves, gets us nowhere:
I swim on, with only a slight pain in my
back. I am crossing into another country.
Oh, what a beautiful sunset, I say to myself,
the landscape so utterly new, the hills so alive
with the sounds, yes, of some strange music.